Saturday, June 30, 2012

A new TV sitcom: Watch Yaw's N Myn trailer

Yaw's and Myn, a new tv sitcom basically shaped on the life of the radio presenter, YAW, his life with his family, how he had to cope with his brother, RAL Chukwu, and his sister, Cheta. As for YAW, Life was all normal till his parents left to work in America and left him to take care of his two grown siblings. RAHL, Who thinks he is a great music talent but rather he is not, and Cheetah, she cant cook at all. But when  parent calls, all he tells them is, we are happy and fine. Yaw was frustrated to the extent that he wants to throw his siblings out. 

Watch the trailer below;

Bricklayer Jailed for pension fraud

Justice Musa Sale Shuaibu of the Federal High Court, Yola, Adamawa state,in Nigeria’s North east, has sentenced Papa Haziel, 22, to 12 months imprisonment for fraudulently obtaining the sum of N1.2million from Military Pension Board under false pretence.
Haziel was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial crimes Commission, EFCC. Haziel, who was arraigned on a two count charge, was sentenced without an option of fine.
The sentence is however to run consecutively.
The accused, who is a bricklayer, was alleged to have claimed to be the son of a retired military officer, Mr. Vatau Haziel, and forged documents with which he had been drawing money from the Military Pension.
During a verification exercise, Papa presented Vatau as a retiree.
When the lid was blown and Vatau was interrogated, he confessed that he was being used for the scam, but Papa insisted that his father was sick and behaves abnormally and therefore should not be taken seriously.
The two, Papa and Vatau Haziel, were arrested but later released on bail; Papa was to thereafter claim that his father had died as he presented a document which he claimed was the certificate of cause of death of Mr. Vatau Haziel, this was later discovered to be another forgery.
Prosecution counsel, barrister Abubakar Aliyu, in the course of the trial, tendered the forged death certificate, bank statement and instrument purported to have been used to withdraw money, a letter from Military Pension Board and the reply, EFCC letter to the MD Union bank and the reply as exhibits.
The accused person pleaded guilty when the charges were read to him, blaming the offence on the economic situation of the country, a development which necessitated Justice Shuaibu to convict him as he said it will serve as deterrent to others.
The judge admonished that it is not an excuse to steal to feed a family, saying such is a dangerous act that does not auger well for the developmental process of the country.
Justice Shuaibu observed that the accused person has no evidence of adverse previous record and had shown evidence of repentance, thus the need for a lenient sentence.
He however, warned that if found wanting again after serving his term, he would incur the full wrath of of the law.

Nigeria Ranked 14th Failed Country

A failed portion of a Nigerian road, an indication of a failing state.
NIGERIA now ranks among the top 10 failed states in Africa and 14th in the world, a global body, the Fund For Peace (FFP) declared in its 2012 annual Index Data released on Friday. The war-torn Somalia tops the global list, which comprised 177 countries with Congo Democratic Republic and Sudan ranked second and third respectively.
Afghanistan, which had for several years, interchangeably dominated the number one spot, dropped to number six, after Chad and Zimbabwe which placed fourth and fifth in that order.
FFP is an independent, non-partisan non-profit research and educational organisation that works to prevent violent conflict and promote sustainable security.
Going by the latest index data, Nigeria has gained two points having been ranked eight failed state in the continent, while she retained the 14th in the world.
The country trails behind Pakistan, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Iraq, Yemen and Haiti.
According to the FFP, a total of 12 criteria were applied in arriving at the ranking that showed a relative better rating for such other African countries like Madagascar, Comoros Island, Djibouti, Libya, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Togo, Mauritania, Malawi and Rwanda than Nigeria among the list of the failed states.
Some of the core criteria included security apparatus, factionalised elite, legitimacy of the state, external intervention, poverty and economic decline, uneven development, group grievance and demographic pressures, human flight and public services.
Some of these factors, which had become pronounced in the country in the last couple of years, have culminated in restiveness among the citizens and triggered calls for a national conference to enable the country chart a new course.
But the establishment has consistently toed the path of constitutional amendment, ostensibly because of the demand in many quarters for a conference with sovereign powers.
Besides, the nation has been contending with security challenges across the country, some of which include the menace of banditry and kidnapping in some states in the southern part of the country.
However, the greatest security challenge had been the activities of the Boko Haram sect, whose members have persistently engaged in serial bombings with the accompany deaths of hundreds of innocent cities and destruction of invaluable property.
The frightening dimension of the mindless killings had led to some senior citizens warning against what they described as the Somalialisation of the country in apparent reference to Somalia, which has been remained ungovernable owing to the endless activities of factional groups trying to control the North African country.
It neither has a central government nor any regional government that could claim to be in charge of its sovereignty.
Nigeria has remained in the top bracket of countries categorized as failed nations in the last three years.
Soyinka’s Warning Of Somalia, Boko Haram Menace, Economic Crises. According to the domentary, some countries fail spectacularly, with a total collapse of all state institutions, as in Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal and the hanging of President Mohammad Najibullah from a lamppost, or during the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone, where the government ceased to exist altogether.
Most countries that fall apart, however, do so not with a bang but with a whimper. They fail not in an explosion of war and violence but by being utterly unable to take advantage of their society’s huge potential for growth, condemning their citizens to a lifetime of poverty. This type of slow, grinding failure leaves many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America with living standards far, far below those in the West.
What’s tragic is that this failure is by design. These states collapse because they are ruled by what is called “extractive” economic institutions, which destroy incentives, discourage innovation, and sap the talent of their citizens by creating a tilted playing field and robbing them of opportunities. These institutions are not in place by mistake but on purpose. They’re there for the benefit of elites who gain much from the extraction — whether in the form of valuable minerals, forced labour, or protected monopolies — at the expense of society. Of course, such elites benefit from rigged political institutions too, wielding their power to tilt the system for their benefit.
But states built on exploitation inevitably fail, taking an entire corrupt system down with them and often leading to immense suffering.
North Korea: Lack of Property Rights
North Korea's economic institutions make it almost impossible for people to own property; the state owns everything, including nearly all land and capital. Agriculture is organized via collective farms. People work for the ruling Korean Workers' Party, not themselves, which destroys their incentive to succeed.
North Korea could be much wealthier. In 1998, a U.N. mission found that many of the country's tractors, trucks, and other farm machinery were simply unused or not maintained. Beginning in the 1980s, farmers were allowed to have their own small plots of land and sell what they grew. But even this hasn't created much incentive, given the country's endemic lack of property rights. In 2009, the government introduced a revalued currency and allowed people to convert only 100,000 to 150,000 won of the old currency into the new one (equivalent to about $35 to $40 at the black-market exchange rate). People who had worked and saved up stocks of the old currency found it to be worthless.
Not only has North Korea failed to grow economically -- while South Korea has grown rapidly -- but its people have literally failed to flourish. Trapped in this debilitating cycle, North Koreans are not only much poorer than South Koreans but also as much as 3 inches shorter on average than the neighbors from whom they have been cut off for the last six decades.
Uzbekistan: Forced labourCoercion is a surefire way to fail. Yet, until recently, at least in the scope of human history, most economies were based on the coercion of workers -- think slavery, serfdom, and other forms of forced labor. In fact, the list of strategies for getting people to do what they don't want to do is as long as the list of societies that relied on them. Forced labor is also responsible for the lack of innovation and technological progress in most of these societies, ranging from ancient Rome to the U.S. South.
Modern Uzbekistan is a perfect example of what that tragic past looked like. Cotton is among Uzbekistan's biggest exports. In September, as the cotton bolls ripen, the schools empty of children, who are forced to pick the crop. Instead of educators, teachers become labor recruiters. Children are given daily quotas from between 20 to 60 kilograms, depending on their age.
The main beneficiaries of this system are President Islam Karimov and his cronies, who control the production and sale of the cotton. The losers are not only the 2.7 million children coerced to work under harsh conditions in the cotton fields instead of going to school, but also Uzbek society at large, which has failed to break out of poverty. Its per capita income today is not far from its low level when the Soviet Union collapsed -- except for the income of Karimov's family, which, with its dominance of domestic oil and gas exploration, is doing quite well.
Egypt: The big men get greedyWhen elites control an economy, they often use their power to create monopolies and block the entry of new people and firms. This was exactly how Egypt worked for three decades under Hosni Mubarak. The government and military owned vast swaths of the economy -- by some estimates, as much as 40 percent.
Even when they did "liberalize," they privatised large parts of the economy right into the hands of Mubarak's friends and those of his son, Gamal. Big businessmen close to the regime, such as Ahmed Ezz (iron and steel), the Sawiris family (multimedia, beverages, and telecommunications), and Mohamed Nosseir (beverages and telecommunications) received not only protection from the state but also government contracts and large bank loans without needing to put up collateral.
Together, these big businessmen were known as the "whales." Their stranglehold on the economy created fabulous profits for regime insiders, but blocked opportunities for the vast mass of Egyptians to move out of poverty. Meanwhile, the Mubarak family accumulated a vast fortune estimated as high as $70 billion.
Somalia: No law and orderOne must-have for successful economies is an effective centralised state. Without this, there is no hope of providing order, an effective system of laws, mechanisms for resolving disputes, or basic public goods.
Yet large parts of the world today are still dominated by stateless societies. Although countries like Somalia or the new country of South Sudan do have internationally recognized governments, they exercise little power outside their capitals, and maybe not even there. Both countries have been built atop societies that historically never created a centralized state but were divided into clans where decisions were made by consensus among adult males. No clan was ever able to dominate or create a set of nationally respected laws or rules. There were no political positions, no administrators, no taxes, no government expenditures, no police, no lawyers -- in other words, no government.
This situation persisted during the colonial period in Somalia, when the British were unable even to collect poll taxes, the usual fiscal basis for their African colonies. Since independence in 1960, attempts have been made to create an effective central state, for example, during the dictatorship of Mohamed Siad Barre, but after more than five decades it's fair and even obvious to say they have failed. Call it Somalia's law: Without a central state, there can be no law and order; without law and order, there can be no real economy; and without a real economy, a country is doomed to fail.
Colombia: A weak central governmentColombia isn't Somalia. All the same, its central government is unable or unwilling to exert control over probably half the country, which is dominated by left-wing guerrillas, most famously the FARC, and, increasingly, right-wing paramilitaries. The drug lords may be on the run, but the state's absence from much of the country leads not only to lack of public services such as roads and health care, but also to lack of well-defined, institutionalized property rights.
Thousands of rural Colombians have only informal titles or titles lacking any legal validity. Although this does not stop people from buying and selling land, it undermines their incentives to invest -- and the uncertainty often leads to violence. During the 1990s and early 2000s, for example, an estimated 5 million hectares of land were expropriated in Colombia, typically at gunpoint. The situation got so bad that in 1997, the central government allowed local authorities to ban land transactions in rural areas. The result? Many parts of Colombia essentially fail to take part in modern economic activities, instead languishing in poverty, not to mention proving to be fertile havens for armed insurgents and paramilitary forces of both the left and right.
Calca and nearby Acomayo are two Peruvian provinces. Both are high in the mountains, and both are inhabited by the Quechua-speaking descendants of the Incas. Both grow the same crops, yet Acomayo is much poorer, with its inhabitants consuming about one-third less than those in Calca. The people know this. In Acomayo, they ask intrepid foreigners, "Don't you know that the people here are poorer than the people over there in Calca? Why would you ever want to come here?"
Indeed, it is much harder to get to Acomayo from the regional capital of Cusco, the ancient center of the Inca Empire, than it is to get to Calca. The road to Calca is paved, while the one to Acomayo is in terrible disrepair. To get beyond Acomayo you need a horse or a mule -- not due to any differences in topography, but because there are no paved roads. In Calca, they sell their corn and beans on the market for money, while in Acomayo they grow the same crops for their own subsistence.
Acomayo's people are one-third poorer than Calca's as a result. Infrastructure matters.
Peru: Bad public servicesCalca and nearby Acomayo are two Peruvian provinces. Both are high in the mountains, and both are inhabited by the Quechua-speaking descendants of the Incas. Both grow the same crops, yet Acomayo is much poorer, with its inhabitants consuming about one-third less than those in Calca. The people know this. In Acomayo, they ask intrepid foreigners, "Don't you know that the people here are poorer than the people over there in Calca? Why would you ever want to come here?"
Indeed, it is much harder to get to Acomayo from the regional capital of Cusco, the ancient center of the Inca Empire, than it is to get to Calca. The road to Calca is paved, while the one  to Acomayo is in terrible disrepair. To get beyond Acomayo you need a horse or a mule -- not due to any differences in topography, but because there are no paved roads. In Calca, they sell their corn and beans on the market for money, while in Acomayo they grow the same crops for their own subsistence.
Acomayo's people are one-third poorer than Calca's as a a result. Infrastructure matters.
Sierra Leone: Fighting over the spoilsIntense extraction breeds instability and failure because, consistent with the iron law of oligarchy, it creates incentives for others to depose the existing elites and take over.
This is exactly what happened in Sierra Leone. Siaka Stevens and his All People's Congress (APC) party ran the country from 1967 until 1985 as their personal fiefdom. Little changed when Stevens stepped aside, passing the baton to his protégé, Joseph Momoh, who just continued the plunder.
The trouble is that this sort of extraction creates deep-seated grievances and invites contests for power from would-be strongmen hoping to get their hands on the loot. In March 1991, Foday Sankoh's Revolutionary United Front, with the support and most likely the command of Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, crossed into Sierra Leone and plunged the country into a vicious, decade-long civil war. Sankoh and Taylor were interested in only one thing: power, which they could use, among other things, to steal diamonds, and they could do so because of the regime that Stevens and his APC had created. The country soon descended into chaos, with the civil war taking the lives of about 1 percent of the population and maiming countless others. Sierra Leone's state and institutions totally collapsed. Government revenues went from 15 percent of national income to practically zero by 1991. The state, in other words, didn't so much fail as disappear entirely.

DANA Air Set To Compensate Families

Barely 48 hours after the House of Representatives issued DANA Air to pay insurance compensation to the families of the crashed victims of one of its aircraft, the airline management said it had since set machinery in motion to ensure that compensation was fully paid.
Reacting to the ultimatum, the airline said it was aware of the mandatory requirements as regards insurance payment to the victims’ families.
“Dana Air is fully aware of the mandatory requirement by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), for interim benefits to be paid to the families of the victims within 30 days of the accident.
“The airline has since set machinery in motion to ensure that compensation is fully and duly paid. Teams comprising staff of Dana Air, counsellors and clergy have been visiting the affected families to condole with them and also to provide information on claims administration and payment.”
To facilitate the payment process, the airline said it had deployed three dedicated toll-free lines, manned by trained personnel, to a Crisis Management Centre in Lagos and Abuja, and public announcements were made in the national dailies and local radio requesting affected families to come forward with details of the Next-Of-Kin, especially those whom the company had difficulty reaching. The airline will continue to provide these services until all claims have been addressed and settled.
Equally, the airline had announced that it had  made a direct contact with 119 of the 120 families who lost loved ones in the accident and that it had also made contact with the nine embassies managing communications with the families of foreign nationals involved.
“As of the close of business on Friday, June 29, the company had received completed insurance forms for 57 of the victims, four of who are our staff members. These forms have been forwarded to our insurers for processing, and initial payments should be made to many families shortly. The airline is also calling on all families, who are yet to come forward with the necessary documentation, to please do so, in order for us to promptly fulfil our obligation to them.
“Dana Air appreciates that the statutory payments cannot compensate for any of the precious lives lost in the accident but we hope that it will lessen the pains of the families knowing that they are not alone in these extremely difficult times.
“Dana Air is maintaining contact with all the families, and will continue to offer all necessary assistance to them,” it stated
While investigations into the cause of the accident were ongoing, the airline promised  to co-operate fully with and offer all support to the investigating authorities, adding, “Dana Air shares in the pains of the affected families and continues to offer every form of assistance required by the hospital management and overseas laboratory to ensure that the process is completed as soon as possible, so that the families can lay their loved ones to rest.”
Officials of the airline, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and the displaced Iju-Ishaga residents were scheduled to meet on Friday to finalise the process of securing permanent accommodation for the families, but on the request of the residents, the meeting has been postponed to Tuesday, 3rd July, 2012.

Two students of Fidei Polytechnic killed in cult violence

Two students of Fidei Polytechnic, Gboko have been confirmed dead in a cult related crisis that engulfed the institution yesterday.
The death occurred against the backdrop of reports that the Benue State Police Command  recovered a box full of AK 47 live ammunition  from four suspects who were hauling the arms to the crisis torn Eggon and Alaago communities of Nasarawa State.
Briefing newsmen yesterday on the two incidents, the Deputy Police Public Relations Officer for Benue State, ASP  Ejike Alaribe said the police in Gboko last night received a report that two suspected cultists had at 8pm stormed the home of two students of Fidei Polytechnic and shot one of them whose name was given as Akawa on the neck, thus killing him instantly.
Alaribe noted that Akawa died before he could receive medical attention,  adding that when the news of his death filtered into the institution, students mobilized themselves and went after the assailants.
According to him, “They caught up with the two suspects who were identified as being responsible for the shooting, matcheted one of them to death but the police arrived the scene before they meted out jungle justice on the other”.
Alaribe said further that two other suspects identified as having a hand in the shooting were also arrested by the police.
On the recovered box of AK47 live ammunition, he said, the four suspects were arrested with the ammunition along the Makurdi-Lafia road by men of the joint operation task force christened ‘Operation Zenda” following a directive by the state Commisdioner of Police that patrols be intensified throughout the state.
He said the suspects who were riding in a Peugeot wagon with registration number Lagos, BE 222 KRD were flagged down for routine check by the security operatives but declined.
”Our men pursued them; they tried to run into the bush, but our men caught up with them and arrested them with minimal force and when a thorough search was conducted on the car and the suspects, the box of live ammunition, charms, knives, N96,500 cash, and three hand sets were recovered from the suspects”, the Deputy PPRO added.

We mistook police, tax officers for kidnappers –PTI students

Students of the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta State, have maintained that their reaction to the ‘strange’ visitors to their school last week was due to the security situation in the state.
The police and state tax officials that visited the school last week to arrest the chief accountant for non-remission of taxes had complained of assault by the students.
The Chief Security Officer of the school had reportedly mobilised the students, who locked all exits from the institution against the law enforcement agents.
But in a response by the National Association of Nigerian Students, the body condemned the action of the police, noting that the officers acted crudely, considering the rampant cases of kidnapping in the state.
NANS Zone B Coordinator, Chinonso Obasi, noted that Nigerian students in PTI did not take any policeman or tax officer hostage as alleged, but were only reacting to an unusual situation.
“Considering the security situation in the country and the series of kidnapping that had been taking place in the institute lately, security personnel, students and staff are always on the alert against any recurrence that could pose a threat to life and property in the institute,” noted NANS.
The students said that a top management employee of the school had been seized earlier this month, using the same tactics.
“On June 10, 2012, a management staff member of the institute was kidnapped by persons who impersonated police officers and took him away in a vehicle with government’s official number plate. He was later released on June 14 in Bayelsa State,” explained the student body.
According to the students, the police and tax officers ignored security interrogation at the institute’s main gate and forced their way through to the administrative building, where they forcibly took one Akamune of the Accounting Department into their vehicle after manhandling him.
“The police force and concerned agencies should endeavour to discharge their duties in a manner that conforms to law and order,” the students said.

Jonathan under fire over foreign trips

President Jonathan
Civil rights groups, opposition parties, the Trade Union Congress and eminent Nigerians on Friday took a swipe at President Goodluck Jonathan over his overseas trips.
The groups, including the Action Congress of Nigeria, the Congress for Progressive Change and the Campaign for Democracy, warned the President against following in the footsteps of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
They said that Jonathan’s overseas trips were becoming too frequent and counter-productive.
The President, who arrived from Brazil on June 22, where he attended the UN Earth Summit, left for Belgium on Wednesday for the Summit of the World Customs Organisation.
Opposition parties had last week criticised the President’s trip to Brazil amid bombings and reprisals in Kaduna State and gun attacks in Yobe State.
But the President on Sunday dismissed the criticisms, saying he had no regret travelling to Brazil.
He had said, “One of the tactics of terrorists is to strangle government. If they hear that the President of Nigeria, the Vice-President of Nigeria wanted to travel but they couldn’t travel because they struck, they are going to celebrate it.”
The CPC spokesman, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, in an interview with SATURDAY PUNCH, said that charity should begin at home.
He stated, “It is conventional wisdom that charity begins at home. Unfortunately, President Jonathan has not imbibed this Where did the incessant shuttles of Obasanjo’s eight years lead us to in terms of foreign investment? Did it positively affect our balance of trade?
“Maybe because President Jonathan had spent billions of naira purchasing comfortable planes, he finds it extremely pleasurable travelling out of the country.
“If he has to board Arik aircraft just as David Cameron boards British Airways everywhere he goes, there will be serious checks on these frivolous journeys.”
The ACN National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, said that happenings within the country should dictate the propriety of Jonathan’s overseas trips.
Specifically, Akande said it was wrong for Jonathan to travel abroad when some parts of the country were under siege by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
The national chairman, who spoke through his media aide, Mr. Lani Baderinwa, on Friday, noted that Jonathan was following in the footsteps of Obasanjo with his frequent overseas trips.
According to Akande, who is a former governor of Osun State, the President should have sent Vice-President Namadi Sambo to Belgium for the customs conference.
He said, “Both Obasanjo and Jonathan believe in the same political philosophy. Obasanjo installed Jonathan; so, you should not expect anything less than frequent travels when the country is facing security challenges.
“We are not saying he should not travel abroad, but the mood of the country should dictate his sojourn abroad. The Brazil summit is likely to benefit Nigeria, but of what use is the summit when Nigerians are being killed on a daily basis?
“You don’t play to the gallery when your house is burning. There will be no Nigeria if Boko Haram has killed all Nigerians before he returns.
“The Syrian president did not attend any of these summits because of the problems facing Syria. That should have applied to Nigeria; President Jonathan should have suspended the travels.”
Also, the Campaign for Democracy president, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, noted that when Obasanjo was embarking on his frequent trips, the challenges of the country were not grave.
She stated that Jonathan’s new found love for overseas trips could not be rationalised with the current insecurity in the country.
Okei-Odumakin said, “He is creating his own footsteps really. As Obasanjo was with foreign trips, the challenges of the country were not as grave as they are today.
A“There is no explanation for what he is doing than the fact that he does not understand the call of his duty.”
 lawyer and social critic, Mr. Fred Agbaje, expressed his reservations about Jonathan’s visit to Belgium a few days after he returned from a very controversial trip to Brazil.
Reacting to the development in a telephone interview with our correspondent, Agbaje said, “I am not too surprised that the President is travelling again after the hullabaloo that greeted his last journey.
“If you know where the President is coming from; he is an offshoot of the Obasanjo administration, you can’t expect any difference.
“Has any of the trips that the President has embarked on impacted on the lives of Nigerians?
“I think the man should sit down and address the challenges facing Nigerians instead of gallivanting all over the place.
“There are so many problems on the ground that he should sit down and address.
“Nobody would have quarrelled with him if Nigerians had been getting the benefits of these foreign trips.”
An economist and manufacturer, Henry Boyo, in an interview, said that Jonathan was following in the footsteps of Obasanjo, who, he said, spent about 50 per cent of his two terms on overseas trips.
“We didn’t see the results of the investment drive that Obasanjo promised us from his trips overseas and it is difficult to see how Jonathan’s investment drive will attract investors to Nigeria,” Boyo said.
He advised Jonathan to put his house in order first before looking for investments from outside the country.
He said, “It is clear that travelling abroad to look for foreign investments may not be the right way out.
“What we need to do is to create an enabling environment that will attract investments on its own. We need to fundamentally change our monetary policy model…what we have now is a model that ensures that we get poorer the more dollars we earn (from crude oil sales).
“If we attract Foreign Direct Investments now, it will only go into treasury bills and bonds. To get FDI, our inflation rate must not be more than 3 per cent, and the cost of borrowing should not be more than 7 per cent. Investors won’t come into an environment where it is clear that there is instability in the system.
“While insecurity is an issue (the US and European countries still invest in places like Libya), it is not as critical as creating the enabling environment that we’re talking about.”
Boyo cautioned the government about isolating any sector of the economy for investors to come in.
Rather, he said the government should institute a monetary policy that will make the naira stronger by allowing the component units of the federation get their income in the currency it is earned.
Also, a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, urged the President to spend more time in the country to solve the security challenges threatening the existence of the country.
He said that the President should have cut short his journey with the aggravated security situation to ensure that things were in order.
Tsav said that Jonathan should have taken further steps to confront the security challenges after sacking Gen. Owoye Azazi as the National Security Adviser.
He advised the President to stay in the country in order to seek a solution to the security issue as he would not be able to delegate his responsibilities.
The President of the Trade Union Congress, Mr. Peter Esele, said the President could only embark on travels that were of serious economic significance to the country.
He called on the President to reduce such visits that were lacking in economic value.
Esele said that the oversea travels of the President should reflect the economic reality in the country and even the global economic situation.
He recalled media reports that the last trip of the President to Brazil had over 100 people in the entourage.
He said that it was unacceptable for the President to have such a huge entourage in country with serious economic challenges
However, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said those accusing the President of travelling abroad too often were unkind and unfair to Jonathan because none of his overseas trips amounted to junketing.
Abati urged Nigerians to ignore those who are holding such erroneous position, noting that such people were known for playing politics with everything.
He said all the overseas trips undertaken so far by Jonathan were made absolutely in the interest of Nigeria.
   He said, “For instance, the President went to Brazil recently to attend the UN Summit on the state of the earth and climate change. Over 180 world leaders were in attendance.
“The recent flooding of Lagos and Ogun states are indications that that summit was relevant to Nigeria.
“He also attended a session on Lake Chad, which is important to Nigeria.
“He was in Belgium to give a keynote address at the 119th/120th Summit of the World Customs Organisation, which has over 177 countries as members. For all his foreign trips, the President was on duty and they were not frolics or junkets.”

Police confirm attack on Oshiomhole’s convoy

The police in Edo State on Friday blamed the students of the Institute of Technology and Management, Usen, for Thursday night’s armed attack on Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s convoy in the town.
Oshiomhole had held a rally in the town and was heading back to Benin City when his convoy was attacked.
A statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Anthony Airhuoyo, said the police had commenced an investigation into the incident and the burning of a police station by the students.
The statement said Oshiomhole had met with the students briefly and promised to address them on his way back from his campaign before the attack.
The statement reads, “After the campaign at about 6.15 pm, the governor decided to address the students on another day because it was already getting late.
“But the students barricaded the expressway on the outskirts of Usen in order to compel the governor to visit their institution.
“When their demands could not be met, they resorted to throwing stones and other missiles at the governor’s convoy.
“In the process of dispersing the riotous students, two of them were injured and are currently receiving treatment.
“Nobody was killed in the process. The students later regrouped and went to Usen Police outpost and vandalised the place.
“Investigation has commenced as the area is closely being monitored by the police.”
In another statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Louis Odion, the Edo State Government alleged that thugs loyal to the Peoples Democratic Party had opened fire on the governor’s convoy shortly after he paid a courtesy visit to the traditional ruler of the area (Onogie) Oluogbe II, in his palace.
But the PDP promptly denied involvement in the attack through its Publicity Secretary in the state, Mathew Urhoghide.

I gave my best – Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo insisted he was going home with his head held high after Portugal were knocked out of Euro 2012 by Spain on penalties.
After a goalless 120 minutes, Spain clinched their place in the final by winning the shoot-out 4-2 with Ronaldo, apparently having been scheduled to take the fifth penalty, watching on.
The Real Madrid man was not at his best but showed glimpses of form and also missed a great chance to clinch the match for Portugal in the dying moments of normal time.
He said: “It’s always painful losing on penalties but penalties are always a lottery and the one who has the best luck wins. It was a good Euro. We played the four best teams. We’re going out a bit frustrated because we could have gone to the final but we were unlucky.
“I gave my best as I always have done and that’s why I’m happy with my own contribution. We must be proud because we played well but we didn’t have the luck we needed.”
The match itself failed to live up to expectations with Portugal shading the first period but clear chances few and far between, with Xavi and Andres Iniesta missing the best chances for the favourites.
Ronaldo made little impact though he clearly worried the Spaniards from free-kicks, and almost wrote the headlines in the last minute when he was put through in the left side of the box but wasted his chance.
Portugal coach Paulo Bento said: “I think we were the better team but we couldn’t take our chances.
“Spain were stronger in extra-time but we could have won it in the first 90 minutes because we were very good in the first half and at the end of the second half.
“If I had to choose a way of losing I wouldn’t choose this one but you have to lose some way, and Spain are a great team.”

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Access Bank’s ratings soar

LAGOS — Three rating agencies which include Fitch, Standard and Poors (S&P) and Nigeria’s Agusto & Co have upgraded Access Bank Plc ratings to a new high, while four other top Nigerian banks maintained stable outlook.
The improved ratings, according to the agencies, were attributed to the Banks’ improved market position, strong capitalization, and strong liquidity profile; enhanced distribution network and expanded client base.
Specifically, Fitch, a UK-based rating agency, upgraded the bank’s long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘B’ from ‘B-’ while the bank’s national long-term rating was upgraded to ‘A-(nga)’ from ‘BBB-(nga)’; and outlook upgraded to stable from its positive status. Fitch upgrade of Access Bank is an incredible three notches up.
In the same vein, S&P (Standard and Poors), one of the world’s most reputable rating agencies, upgraded its long-term Nigerian national-scale rating to ‘ngA’ from ‘ngA-’ with its outlook raised from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’ while Agusto & Co, Nigeria’s leading rating agency, upgraded its ‘BBB’ rating of the Bank to ‘A-’; still maintaining its ‘stable’ rating of the bank’s outlook.
This development lays credence to the timeliness of the recent banking reform which has undoubtedly strengthened the Nigerian banking landscape. Outside the subsidiaries of foreign banks present in the Nigerian market which carry the ratings of their parent banks, the ratings of the five largest banks in Nigeria— FirstBank, Zenith, GTBank, Access Bank and United Bank for Africa—are not materially different from one another as they all maintain ‘stable outlook’ in their ratings. This could be taken to mean a tacit classification of the nation’s banking industry with these five occupying Tier 1 position; riding on their financial strength, market capitalization, branch network, customer base, quality of their risk management framework and governance structure.
According to opinions expressed on Access Bank by one of the rating agencies, “Access Bank’s funding has been strengthened by an enlarged branch network following consolidation, which has availed the Bank a vast pool of low-cost deposit.
“In the year under review, local currency deposits grew by 114 per cent to N871 billion. Deposits adequately funded the loan book and Access Bank’s liquidity ratio stood at 74 per cent as at December 31, 2011, well above the regulatory minimum of 30 per cent.”
Meanwhile, Moody’s Global Banking Managing Director, Greg Bauer, has attributed the recent downgrade of some of the world’s financial institutions to global meltdown.
According to him,  “all of the banks affected by the actions have significant exposure to the volatility and risk of outsized losses inherent to capital markets activities.
“Financial markets have been bracing for the downgrades since February, when Moody’s Investors Service said it had launched a review of 17 banks with global capital markets operations. These companies faced diminished profitability and growth prospects due to difficult operating conditions, increased regulation and other factors”, Bauer said.

7 pupils die as rain wreaks havoc in Nasarawa


AN early morning downpour, on Wednesday, wreaked havoc in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, as seven pupils of Living Foundation Nursery/Primary School were trapped in their classrooms before the rescue team could get there. The pupils were between four and seven years.
The rain, which started a few minutes after some pupils had arrived on the school premises, located within Tuntun-Kauri area on the Lafia-Makurdi Expressway, also affected many houses within the vicinity due to lack of proper drainage.
An eyewitness told Nigerian Tribune that the classrooms which were erected with iron sheets on waterways could not withstand the force of the torrent and was pulled down suddenly. All seven pupils in the class at that time  died instantly.  It was, however, gathered that some teachers, who were at the school when the torrential rain started, abandoned the pupils and ran for  dear lives.
Investigations by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that the rescue team from the state fire service could not get to the school environment due to bad road and violent flow of water, until it stopped.
Confirming the incident in his office, the state chief fire officer, Alhaji Dogara Dalhatu, said about four pupils were confirmed dead during the torrential rain.
Dalhatu, who blamed the incident on non-compliance with physical planning regulations, also lamented that the school authorities knew quite alright that it erected illegal structure there.
According to him, “I received a call from the Ministry of Works that there was problem around that area  and you know we all woke up to a downpour and that signified that there was a problem because of lack of proper drainage. People build on the way of water which is very dangerous.
“The report from my men was that there were four dead bodies discovered and they had been deposited at the hospital. What they are doing is not good, especially in Lafia here. People do not comply with the rules and regulations guiding the planning and physical structure in the state. We cannot blame government for this unfortunate incident,” he said.
The state chief fire officer urged the people to always seek for planning authorities’ approval before embarking on building of any structure with a view to putting a stop to unwarranted death in the state.

Reps kick against sale of NITEL

THE House of Representatives on Wednesday kicked against the privatisation of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), saying that the previous privatisation exercise of the Federal Government was nothing to write home about. A member of the House, Honourable Chris Azubogu had, through a motion entitled "Need to privatise Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) separately,” asked the House to support the motion, but members took turn to condemn it, claiming that the motion was anti-people. While leading the debate on the motion before it was killed, the lawmaker had implored the House to mandate its committee on communications to investigate the mode of unbundling and make recommendations to the House within four weeks. He added that it was unfortunate that efforts by the Federal Government to privatise NITEL and Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTEL) since 2001 with the liberalisation of the telecommunication industry had failed to yield meaningful result. Going down memory lane on government's effort to privatise the company, the lawmaker said "the first attempt was in 2002 when Investors International London Limited (IILL) offered $1.137 billion to acquire Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), but defaulted in paying the bid price and therefore lost the opportunity. ""Further aware that when the first attempt failed, Bureau of Public Enterprises, under the leadership of Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, took formal steps to outsource management of NITEL by engaging Pentascope of The Netherlands to manage the pioneer telecommunications company with the expectation of the Dutch firm to expand NITEL in 2003 by creating more landlines and providing at least allegedly 500,000 lines for the mobile arm but that never happened," he said. Speaking further, Azobogu said that the cancellation of the $500 million acquisition by Transcorp or the acquisition of 51 per cent equity of NITEL in 2006 as well as the unsuccessful $2.5 billion acquisition of 75 per cent equity process initiated by New Generation Telecommunication Consortium of China, which was cancelled, following the group's inability to pay the bid price. To this end, he said the "delay in the sale of NITEL and Mtel has led to monumental loss of funds and job opportunities to Nigerians and has prevented additional investments in the telecommunications sector." He stressed that "it is becoming unrealistic to expect a fair market value for the full price of NITEL\Mtel, especially as investment conditions in Nigeria and around the world are yet to improve since the capital and financial market crisis of 2008\2009 and 2010.” Supporting the motion, Adams Jangaba and Ndudi Elumelu called on the House to move in the direction of fast-tracking the sale of the telecommunications company, but Honourables Kamil Akinlabi, Haruna Kigbu and Ayo Omidiran, kicked against the motion, saying NITEL should not be privatised. Specifically, Akinlabi said that several attempts had been made to privatise NITEL/MTEL but it seemed the spirits of Nigerians were against the sale, claiming it would create a lot of security implications. When the motion was put to vote by the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Emeka Ihedioha who presided over the session, majority of the lawmakers voted against

Nigerian Embassy’s account in US not frozen - Bank

OFFICIALS of the Manufacturers and Traders Trust Bank (M & T Bank), United States (US), on Tuesday, disclosed that bank accounts of the Nigerian embassy were at no time frozen, adding that the accounts of the embassy was only closed to allow them meet up with the new government’s regulations on money arriving from abroad. This disclosure came few days after President Goodluck Jonathan, during a presidential media chat on national television and radio, directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate accounts of the Nigerian Embassy in the US, over alleged money laundering. The president was reacting to a newspaper report that the US government had frozen the embassy’s accounts in the US over allegation of money laundering. However, contrary to media reports that the accounts were frozen due to money laundering activities, the vice-president of M&T Bank, Mr Peter Senica, said “at March 31, 2012, the Nigerian Embassy received a cheque for the balance on the account, minus any service charges if any,” adding that “the account of the embassy of Nigeria had no red flag for money laundering activities.” Nigerian Ambassador to the US, Professor Adebowale Adefuye, while speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, in an online chat on Wednesday, acknowledged the closure of the account by M & T Bank, but denied any allegation of money laundering activities, saying that “we have never operated any accounts with Wells Fargo and Bank of America. “We have nothing to do with the laundering of money on behalf of state governors or other Nigerian public functionaries. The leadership of the Nigerian Embassy in the United States respected the financial policies of the host country and will never encourage fraudulent activities such as corruption and money laundering.” He said the closure of the account was “a problem faced by many embassies and missions in the US currently, owing to the strict guidelines given to banks by the provision of the Patriot Act.” An officer at the US Department of Defence and former president of the Nigerian Media Practitioners in Diaspora (NMPD), in Washington, DC, Mr Femi Soneye, also said “the United States has tough legislation against terrorism and financing, the Patriot Act has, in recent times, made a number of changes that are now making it difficult for banks in the US to manage the accounts of foreign missions, it’s not a problem of the Nigerian Embassy. It has affected over 51 embassies in the US, including France, China, and other nations.” Soneye absolved the ambassador of any money laundering allegations, adding that “the Nigerian Embassy was given a cheque for their balance by the bank, as given to China, France and other countries, including the Vatican.”

$20,000 disappears at Lagos airport screening point

That the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is a government organisation enmeshed in corruption has again been confirmed following the arrest of the organisation’s two security officials by the Inspector General of Police monitoring team on Wednesday for stealing $20,000 from a passenger’s baggage. The security officials, who have been flown to Abuja on the order of the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, were said to have stolen the money from the baggage of an airline operator during the screening of his baggage at the screening point of the Murtala Muhammed Airport terminal one. According to the airline operator who does not want his name in print for now, trouble started when he was to board a 6.5 a.m. flight on First Nation to Abuja to perform a national exercise. Getting to the screening point of the departure hall of the MMA2 terminal, as expected, he positioned his hand luggage on the screening machine and walked through the screening being conducted on passengers by the FAAN security officials. When the flight was announced, he took his hand luggage and proceeded on board without knowing that the security officials had removed $20, 000 from his luggage. However, the bubble burst when the airline operator tried to bring out his complimentary card which he wanted to give to a long-time friend whom he met on board but discovered that his money was gone. The airline operator, who said his money was still intact at the screening point, said at that point, it was impossible for him to disembark from the aircraft as the gangway was already closed by the cabin crew hence, he decided to put a call through to the managing director of FAAN who said he was in Abuja but directed him to contact the director of security in FAAN. But despite the complaints made by the passenger, neither the FAAN chief nor his director of security was forthcoming as they failed to communicate with him for a whole week. Sensing that the management of FAAN was not interested in his case, he decided to report the matter to the police IG, who asked him to forward a letter of complaint to his office and copy the Minister of Aviation, Stella Adaeze Oduah.

Traffic officials kill student in Rivers over N30,000 bribe

THE Rivers State chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), a human rights and pro-democracy group in southern Nigeria, has raised the alarm over an alleged extra-judicial murder of a university student in Port Harcourt, the state capital, by some public traffic officials. The group made this known to AkanimoReports on Wednesday, even as it commended the police in the state for arresting and charging four officials of the state Road Traffic Management Agency (TIMARIV) over the alleged murder of Tasie Nyenke, an engineering student of the state University of Science and Technology in Port Harcourt. Chairman of the group, Steve Obodoekwe, also alleged that some top government functionaries made “desperate moves’’ to secure the release of the traffic officials without prosecution. Six TIMARIV officials, according to the CLO, last May 19, at the Rukpokwu axis of the capital city, violently attacked Tasie, 34, beating him to a pulp before bolting away with his car. “The late Tasie was driving his car, a Passat car with registration number Edo AG 573 AGD when the car developed a fault which forced him to stop to find out what was wrong. “As he opened the car bonnet to check what was wrong, the six TIMARIV officials, operating in a bus arrived and immediately pounced on him, pressed his head on the engine and started forcing the bonnet to close. They demanded the sum of N30,000, bribe from him. They accused him of wrong parking. When he tried to explain, they started beating him angrily. “After the attack, the young man literally crawled home and went to bed. He never woke up again. His lifeless body was recovered from his room at Rukpokwu in the morning of June 21, when the family members, in conjunction with the police broke into his house. He was taken to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, where autopsy was done.’’ The accused were arraigned on Monday, June 25, before a Port Harcourt Senior Magistrate Court, on a two-count charge of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The trial magistrate ordered that they be remanded in prison custody.

2 Brothers to die for stealing N39,040

The Benue Chief Judge, Justice Iorhemen Hwande, on Wednesday in Makurdi sentenced two brothers, Ibrahim Yau and Abubakar Yau to death by hanging for armed robbery. The two brothers were arraigned for criminal conspiracy and armed robbery. They were said to have conspired to rob one Simon Tartyough and Isaiah Kena of valuable property. The property, stolen at gun point, were said to have included cell phones and money to the tune of N39,040 on Makurdi-Guma Road, sometime in March, 2010. The offences are in contravention of Sections 6(b) and 1(2) and (b) of the Robbery and Firearms Act. The convicts, however, denied the allegation, testifying for themselves and calling only one witness during the trial. In his judgement, Hwande said that from the evidence before the court, the prosecution had proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt that the convicts actually committed the offences. The judge also said that their victims identified them. After listening to the pleas for mercy on behalf of the convicts by their counsel, Mr R.B. Ayula, the Chief Judge said that though the convicts had no evidence of previous conviction, his hands were tied. “The provisions of the law is that a convict of armed robbery has no option than a death sentence under the section 1(2) and (b) of the Robbery Act,” he explained. Hwande said that it was only the legislature that could amend the present law and reduce the sentence to jail terms.

INEC approves permanent voters card

Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved the final specimen of the permanent voter cards to enable it begin the printing of 40 million cards. INEC’s ICT Director, Mr Chidi Nwafor, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja. He said the project would cost N2.6 billion. “After the samples we checked at our technical committee, we moved it to the ICT committee, it was taken at the commission level last week and was approved. So now we have a sample of what the whole voter’s permanent voter’s card in the whole country will look like. “The next stage now is that since we have approved the sample is to start producing the cards which I think in the next few months we will start having the cards and after having the cards we distribute. ” According to Nwafor, the contract has been awarded to an indigenous printing company. “The processes are in stages; the first being the signing of contract with all the arbitrations, while the company was expected to produce all the bio-data for the specimen before we arrived at the permanent sample of how the whole voter’s card in the country would look like.” The director said INEC was working toward achieving the 40 million voter cards before the end of 2012 in the first phase of the distribution of the cards. He said the commission would work out the modalities for the distribution. Nwafor stressed that INEC’s target was to ensure that by 2015, every eligible registered voter in the country had a permanent voter’s card that would contain all the necessary information and details. The director added that the chip-based cards would guarantee eligible voters the right to vote during elections and solve the rigours of identification and authentication. The contract was awarded to Art Technology Limited, with the technical partner “Obature” in France, at the cost of N65 per card.

DANA Air crash: Management contacts 118 families of victims

DANA Airline spokesman, Mr Tony Usidamen, said on Wednesday in Lagos that its management has made direct contact with 118 families of the victims involved in the crash of June 3. Usidamen, who said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), added that nine embassies had also been contacted for the foreign victims. NAN recalls that DANA Airline plane crashed into residential buildings at Iju-Isaga, Lagos, on June 3, killing all the 153 passengers on board, as well as some residents of the buildings. He said the victims’ families and embassies have been sent letters of condolence and insurance documents, which would facilitate the payment of their compensation. He further disclosed that as of June 25, the company had received completed insurance forms for 34 of the victims, “two of which are members of staff.” The spokesman said investigations into the cause of the accident was still ongoing, adding that management would continue to offer assistance to investigating authorities. “DANA Air shares in the pains of the affected families and continues to offer every form of assistance required by the hospital authorities and overseas laboratories. “We shall ensure the process is completed as soon as possible, so that the families can lay their loved ones to rest,” he said. He added that 98 per cent of DNA samples had been successfully collected and dispatched to a UK laboratory for testing. Usidamen debunked rumours that expatriate members of staff of the airline had left the company’s employment since the incident. “Of the over 450 staff of the airline, most of whom are Nigerians, not one has left the company’s employment,” he said. According to him, some of the expatriate members of staff are among the airline’s officials currently assisting the investigating authorities on the crash. “All DANA Air staff are voluntarily assisting in one way or the other, especially with respect to visiting the affected families and providing information on processing of insurance claims,” he said.

Air Nigeria fires 12 engineers, pilots

The news filtered through the aviation industry, on Wednesday, that Air Nigeria, one of the domestic airlines in the country, had sacked scores of pilots and engineers on its pay roll, that have links with National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE). According to information gathered, those affected were 12 in number, with the allegation that all those sacked belonged to NAAPE, the umbrella body for pilots and engineers in the aviation industry. While it was not specific as to why they were sacked, the NAAPE president, Isaac Balami, confirmed the sack and added that the workers were sacked on Monday. However, he did not speak on the association’s next line of action, but feelers reaching the paper suggested that the professional body may have drawn the battle line with the airline. The chairman of Air Nigeria, however, confirmed the sack to the Nigerian Tribune at about 7.56p.m, on Wednesday, saying it was true that the workers were actually sacked. The decision to sack the technical staff might not be unconnected with the role they played in recent strike, which the pilots and engineers embarked upon since November 2011 and backed by their national body, NAAPE. Pilots and engineers in Air Nigeria had embarked on strike for alleged interference and presurising the head of maintenance to operate unserviceable aircraft. The strike, which grounded the airlines operations, also made their passengers stranded as pilots refused to fly the aircraft while engineers did not certify the airplanes for flight operations. The NAAPE president, Engr Isaac Balami, had told journalists then that the technical grounding of the airline’s flights became necessary following the sack of the Head of Maintenance of the airlines, James Erigba for daring to tell the management that aircraft with snags and due for maintenance could not be used for flight operations. In his reaction then, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim accused the workers of mischief saying they did not follow due process before embarking on the strike.

Robbers raid banks in Taraba, cart away large sums of money

Jalingo, TARABA— Residents of Wukari in Taraba State had a sleepless night on Tuesday, as gunmen suspected to be robbers raided three commercial banks in the town and carted away large sums of money.
The Police Commissioner in Taraba, Alhaji Ibrahim Maishanu, who confirmed the robbery in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, yesterday, said the operation lasted for three hours.
Maishanu said his men were still gathering information on the robbery.

21 killed as gunmen, JTF clash in Kano, Yobe

KANO — No fewer than 17 Islamist militants were killed, yesterday, in Kano after two days of sustained exchange of fire between the militants and security agents. Four others were also reportedly killed in Damaturu, Yobe State capital. It was gathered that three undergraduates were among those arrested by security agents.
The gunmen had reportedly launched an operation, attacking seven targets with explosives and  assault rifles in Kano during the attack that lasted about 12 hours.
Arms and ammunition seized by JTF from suspected Boko Haram members in Dikwa Lga, Borno State On Monday.

Arsenal to play Eagles in Abuja

SUPER Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi

English Premier League club Arsenal will play the Super Eagles in a pre-season match in Abuja on August 5.
It will be the first time the Gunners have played in the West African country.
Nigeria, ranked 60th in the latest FIFA rankings, face Arsenal who finished third in the English league last season.
According to promoters, DanJan Sports, agreement has been finalised with the Nigeria Football Federation.
“We are delighted to announce that Arsenal Football Club will face the Super Eagles of Nigeria in Abuja,” David Omigie of DanJan Sports said.

N96m bribery scandal probe hits dead end

Farouk Lawan

Police investigators are in a dilemma over the whereabouts of the N96m  bribe received by the Chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on fuel subsidy, Mr.  Farouk Lawan, from the Chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas, Mr. Femi Otedola.
Our correspondent gathered  in Abuja that Lawan, who appeared at the Force Headquarters  on Wednesday, insisted that he gave the money to the Chairman, Committee on Narcotics and Anti-corruption, Adams Jagaba.
Investigations showed that the police probe into the matter was compounded by the refusal of the State Security Service to provide the Special Task Force with the original copy of the video recording of what transpired between Lawan and Otedola.

Suspects name top NNPC, PDP officials as sponsors

The ship, MT Vannessa

INVESTIGATORS are currently probing some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party fingered as being the mastermind of 6.5 million barrels crude oil theft, The PUNCH investigation has shown.
Also, two officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and two marketers alleged to be part of the thieving ring are to questioned by investigators.
Already, six new suspects, including four additional Filipinos and two Russians had been arrested for the theft. Six crew members of the French ship, MT Vannessa, used for the theft were arrested on June 21 when the vessel was impounded with the stolen oil.

Gunmen kill Rivers ANPP chairman

Gunmen have killed  the Rivers State Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, Mr. Julius Nwaofu.
Nwaofu was said to have been shot several times by his assailants while on his way home from the Port Harcourt International Airport.
Caleb, son of the late ANPP chief,  told our correspondent in a telephone interview that his father was killed  at about 8.30pm on Airport Road in Ikwerre Local Government Area.

FEC approves purchase of six security boats

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku

Federal Executive Council  has  approved the purchase of six security patrol boats for the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku,  and his Transport counterpart, Senator Idris Umar, said this after the monthly  FEC meeting presided over by President  Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday.

Lagos plans strategy for Third Mainland Bridge repair

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said it would ensure free flow of traffic during the repair of Third Mainland Bridge.
The repair is expected to commence on July 1 and end on November 6.
At a press conference, the Commissioners for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Obafemi Hamzat; Transport, Kayode Opeifa; and Information and Strategy, Adeyemi Ibirogba insisted that the bridge would not be closed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


MI, 9ice, Codread, Solidstar, Basket mouth, Bovi, Yaw, Julius Agwu, e,t,c were present at Igos D prince of Wazbia Live.  The day which also serves as Alibaba and  Igos’ Birthday was fun filled, if you weren’t there, you missed out, check out pictures from the event

Woman Inserts 66 Wraps Of Drug In Genitals

Mande Fatima Bala, a 48-year old woman, has been arrested by Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, with 66 wraps of methamphetamine concealed in her genitals,

FG, Lagos govt on collision course over closure of Third Mainland Bridge

BARELY five days to the commencement of repair works on the Third Mainland Bridge, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Monday, said the closure of the bridge would not be total afterall.

NUC suspends part-time programmes in universities

National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie
The National Universities Commission  on Monday announced the suspension of all Part-Time Programmes run by universities in the country.

Asset declaration: Jonathan violates PDP manifesto – Investigation

President Goodluck Jonathan
The refusal of President Goodluck Jonathan to openly declare his assets was against the Programme and Policy Trust of the Peoples Democratic Party, investigation by The PUNCH has shown.

Court Stops UNILAG Name Change

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos today granted an interim order restraining the Federal Government from renaming the University of Lagos. The order was granted by Justice Stephen Adah, while ruling in the

9 injured in Bauchi bomb blast

Bauchi – GUNMEN on Sunday detonated an explosive in an uncompleted building in Bayan Gari at Tudun Wadan dan Iya in Bauchi State, leaving nine people injured.
Vanguard gathered that the blast which was the second in the area in recent times, occurred where there were many hotels, brothels and other relaxation centres.

Church formally announces Okotie’s divorce

LAGOS — HOUSEHOLD of God Ministry, yesterday, released an official statement, announcing the dissolution of the marriage of its founder/General Overseer, Pastor Christopher Akpoborie Okotie, to Stephanie Henshaw.
The statement signed by the spokesman for the church, Pastor Ladi Ayodeji, stated: “Pastor of our church, the Household of God, Oregun, Lagos, Rev. Chris Okotie, announced his separation from Stephanie, his wife of four years, at the end of service last Sunday.”