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Without Ifa, there’d be no Google, says Ooni

Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, ooni of Ife, says Google, popular search engine, originated from “Ifa”, an oracle in Yoruba mythology.

Ogunwusi said this on Wednesday during a press tour of the tourists sites within the ancient city ahead of the tourism innovation and development innovation conference (TIDA) slated for April 24.

The theme of the forthcoming conference is: “Impact of Sustainable Tourism Development and Marketing of Tourism Destinations on Host Communities”.

The traditional leader said that without ‘Ifa’, Google would not have been created.

NAN reports that ‘Odu Ifa’ refers to the verses of the literary corpus that are usually consulted by people who believe in its efficacy before embarking on any project or activity.

It is also a West African religion and system of divination

Ogunwusi said “Ifa” as a form divination was all about sourcing for information and knowledge through traditional consultation.

The traditional ruler said that the Google could be regarded as the modern way of sourcing for past information and what was likely to happen in the future too.

He said that “Ifa” originated several thousands of years ago and is seen as the voice of the almighty God referred to as ‘Orisa Oke’ which is supreme to other lesser gods.

”Without ‘Ifa’, there could never have been the google, so the google is the modern day version of ‘Ifa’,” the monarch said.

“‘Ifa’ is all about information, getting knowledge from the almighty God.

“Whenever you search the google for information or knowledge, you are consulting ‘Ifa’; and without “Ifa”, there would not have been the google.”

He said “Ifa” was still relevant in contemporary time, that was why people were still consulting the oracle for information and solutions to their problems.

Ogunwusi explained that if the modern day youths and the educated wanted to know the date of any important event, they would search for it from the Google.

“That is part of the functions that Ifa’ does for its believers and followers; that is the truth but it may sound strange,” he said.

The traditional ruler who is the custodian of the Yoruba culture and tradition called on Nigerians to embrace traditional worships peculiar to their communities.

He said that would not stop them from practising other modern religions.

Tony Elumelu Foundation host EU, DFI’s, think tanks in Brussels

 

At a time when Europe’s relationship with Africa is high on foreign policy and developmental agendas and with the European Union beginning to deliver on its 2017 External Investment Plan, targeted at attracting investment and job creation in Africa, the Tony Elumelu Foundation brought together leading stakeholders in the development finance sector, at a case study session in the EU capital, Belgium.

The convening demonstrated that Africa also had solutions to bring to the table and platformed the Foundation’s unique approach to catalysing entrepreneurship in scale across the continent.

Themed “A Convening on Africa’s Economic Transformation: A Case Study of the Tony Elumelu Foundation”, the event presented the results of the first five years of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme a unique programme, which has trained, mentored and seeded 4,470 African entrepreneurs with 3,050 newly announced to receive seed funding, and drawn over 200,000 applications to its 2019 cycle. Tony Elumelu’s $100m investment in entrepreneurial philanthropy was held up as an example of how vital capital could be targeted efficiently and effectively, at African businesses best able to create significant economic and developmental impact.

Opening the event, Mr. Koen Doens, Deputy Director General, DEVCO, EU, said: “Africa needs to create jobs by the millions to match the needs of its exponentially growing population. It will achieve this only if it unleashes a generation of empowered entrepreneurs. The Tony Elumelu Foundation contributes to this massively. The European Union wants to play its part and contribute to this endeavour.” 

During an indepth question and answer session with EU-Africa relations expert, Annie Mutamba, Founder, Mr. Tony Elumelu CON, highlighted the growing interest in the Tony Elumelu Foundation and its unique approach, while welcoming a new type of intervention in Africa. “We very much believe in collaboration, mutual respect and a shared commitment to transform Africa. Africa is ready but we need to do this through the right sustainable manner, that enables our people to become self-reliant, and independent, instead of perpetuating dependency. We need to implement practical solutions on ground through entrepreneurship, which empower people economically and addresses issues of extremism, migration, and insecurity.”

Minister Phillippe De Backer, Minister for Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post, Belgium, also commented: “There is an increasing desire in Europe to engage Africa, including its grassroots in a structure and targeted approach with the right processes. The Tony Elumelu Foundation offers this platform.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which last month in March announced 3,050 selected entrepreneurs for its 2019 cycle, continues to grow in scale, ambition and impact, and now actively leverages technology to support entrepreneurs through TEF Connect – a digital hub designed to link entrepreneurs across Africa, and which already has 500,000 users.

On the Foundation’s future plans, he stated: “We want to make sure that we impact more, reach more, touch more lives and get more women involved. We want to see more Northern Africa participation. We would like to reach 10,000 a year, with support from partners to empower additional entrepreneurs. We want to eradicate poverty and create wealth in a sustainable way. Ultimately, we want a larger and broader entrepreneurship ecosystem, that supports young Africans, and we want to deepen our engagement with government to create the enabling environment to support these Africans to succeed – the right investment climate, training, education, access to capital and most importantly creating the right investment culture.”

Other dignitaries at the event included: Carl Michiels, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Bruno Wenn, Former CEO/Chairman at DEG-German Investment and Development Company, and Advisory Board Member, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mr Viwanou Gnanssougou, Assistant Secretary General, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) at the European Council of the European Union, and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Lagos medium, high capacity buses to start operations

 

The Lagos State Government is set to roll out 820 medium and high capacity buses under its public transportation Bus Reform Initiative to meet the yearnings of its citizenry.

The State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson, who disclosed this on Thursday at the Secretariat, Alausa, noted that the deployment of the new buses will address the inadequacies of the present unreliable transportation system in Lagos metropolis.

According to him, the State Government designed the Bus Reform Project to correct the many challenges inherent in the present system, through the replacement of yellow mini-buses with air-conditioned vehicles of uniform specification, predictable bus schedules, and routes supported by appropriate infrastructure.

Lawanson recalled the first implementation of the bus reforms which began with the construction and commissioning of the Ikeja Bus Terminal by President Muhammadu Buhari, followed by the completion of other terminals at Yaba, Oyingbo, Ojota, Agege, and Ajah as well as the Oshodi Transport Interchange masterpiece to be unveiled by the President before the end of the administration’s tenure on May 29.

He maintained that the Bus Reform Project which will be technology driven will ensure seamless integration of transport modes and passenger movement through 23 routes for efficiency and effectiveness that will restore the confidence of Lagosians in the use of public transport facilities.

Explaining further, Lawanson said 75 of the 100 bus shelters earmarked for the first phase of the Bus Reform project have been completed to support the operations of the buses.

Allaying fears that the existing transport unions members will be sent into labour market, Lawanson stated that 800 of the buses will be released to private operators through the operating lease model which has incorporated the current road transport operators – National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) – as part of the Bus Operating Companies.

While congratulating Lagosians for being part of the laudable project aimed at ensuring a better life for all, Lawanson urged citizens to take ownership of the project by guiding against misuse and vandalisation when the buses commence operations.

Assange found guilty of jumping bail, awaits US extradition

A London judge has found WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange guilty of failing to surrender to bail in 2012. He will now be sentenced on May 2.

Assange had pleaded not guilty to the charge, which stems from the time he sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012, avoiding extradition to Sweden for a sexual assault investigation, rt.com reported.

Although Swedish authorities dropped the charge in 2017, Assange remained wanted by Britain for breaching the terms of his original bail.

The WikiLeaks chief faces 12 months in prison for failing to surrender, and will be sentenced via video link on May 2.

Julian Assange the world knew before today’s arrest

Separate from the British charge, Assange is also wanted for extradition by the United States. Although Washington quietly requested his extradition in 2016, the US Justice Department announced conspiracy charges against Assange on Thursday, stemming from his role in publishing classified military documents leaked by US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning in 2010.

Assange faces a “federal charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer,” according to the Justice Department.

Rather than actually hacking into government networks himself, Assange is merely accused of encouraging Manning to do so.

The British judge said on Thursday that the US must produce its case for Assange’s extradition by June 12.

His alleged crimes fall under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, rather than the Espionage Act. However, activists have warned that the US government may attempt to tack on additional charges to punish Assange.

BREAKING: Sudan military expected to announce end to Bashir rule

Sudan’s armed forces will make an important announcement soon, state television said on Thursday as troops were deployed in Khartoum and sources reported a coup attempt against President Omar al-Bashir after months of protests.

“The armed forces will present an important statement shortly. Be ready for it,” the announcement on state television read, without giving further details.

Sudanese sources said the army will likely announce a transition of power from Bashir to a council headed by military figures to end Bashir’s 30 years in power.

A Sudanese source told Reuters Bashir was under house arrest with a number of aides at the presidential palace.

The army and security services deployed troops around the defense ministry and on major roads and bridges in Khartoum as thousands of people flocked to an anti-government protest outside the ministry, a Reuters witness said.

Tens of thousands of Sudanese marched through the center of the capital Khartoum in jubilation, dancing and chanting anti-Bashir slogans. .

Protesters outside the defense ministry chanted: “It has fallen, we won.”

Al Arabiya TV reported that Bashir had resigned, but this was not confirmed.

State television and radio played patriotic music, reminding older Sudanese of how military takeovers unfolded during previous episodes of civil unrest.

Bashir, a former paratrooper who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1989, has been a divisive figure who has managed his way through one internal crisis after another while withstanding attempts by the West to weaken him.

Sudan has suffered prolonged periods of isolation since 1993, when the United States added Bashir’s government to its list of terrorism sponsors for harboring Islamist militants. Washington followed up with sanctions four years later.

Bashir has also been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague over allegations of genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region during an insurgency that began in 2003.

The latest crisis has escalated since the weekend, when thousands of demonstrators began camping out outside the Defence Ministry compound in central Khartoum, where Bashir’s residence is located.

Clashes erupted on Tuesday between soldiers trying to protect the protesters and intelligence and security personnel trying to disperse them. At least 11 people died in the clashes, including six members of the armed forces, the information minister said citing a police report.

Since Dec. 19, Sudan has been rocked by persistent protests sparked by the government’s attempt to raise the price of bread, and an economic crisis that has led to fuel and cash shortages

Opposition figures have called for the military to help negotiate an end to Bashir’s nearly three decades in power and a transition to democracy.

The demonstrators at the Defence Ministry had said that they wanted to submit a petition for the armed forces to take their side in their attempt to remove Bashir and his Islamist-backed administration.

Nigerian High Commission London changes staff status to ‘self-employed’

Locally recruited staffers of the Nigerian High Commission London would from April 20 have their employment status changed from “employee” to “self-employed”.

This development is contained in a memo addressed to the staff by Mrs Helen Nzeako, the Commission’s Head of Chancery.

Nzeako stated that the decision was “sequel to the communication received from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on tax payment to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Commission (HMRC), Embassy Unit’’.

Under the “self-employed’’ status, Nzeako said that staffers would be responsible for their National Insurance Contribution (NIC) and Income Taxes.
However, they would retain all benefits they currently enjoy such as Holiday, Maternity leave and sick leave.
She also said that they would enjoy salary increment as a gesture of goodwill.

In December 2018, the same locally-recruited staff of the Commission were disengaged from service and their entitlement paid.

They were further advised to reapply for their various positions as contract staff in a move necessitated by the then ongoing restructuring of the High Commission following budgetary constraints.

Currently, over 50 locally recruited staff work for the Commission

Bademosi: Togolese cook faces murder charge

An Igbosere High Court in Lagos, on Wednesday, remanded a Togolese cook, Sunday Anani, in prison custody over the alleged murder of his boss, Chief Opeyemi Bademosi, the Chief Executive Officer of Credit Switch Ltd.

Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile gave the order following Anani’s arraignment by the Lagos State Government on a two-count charge of murder and armed robbery.

Before the charge was read, his counsel, the Director of the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), Mrs Adenrera Adeyemi, informed the court that Anani did not understand English language.

Adeyemi, however, applied for a French-English language interpreter.

Okikiolu-Ighile upheld her application and directed that one be provided.

The charge, prepared by the Prosecutor, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, was then read and interpreted to Anani.

The prosecutor alleged that Anani, 22, committed the offences on October 31, 2018, at the residence of the victim in Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.

He said that the defendant stabbed Bademosi, 67, to death with a knife and stole his valuables, including his phone.

Shitta-Bey said the offences contravened sections 223 and 297 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Anani, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The judge remanded defendant in prison and adjourned the case until May 21 for trial.

Court dismisses EFCC’s N254m bribery case against Akwa Ibom Senator

An Ikeja Special Offences Court, on Wednesday, dismissed a N254 million bribery suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Albert Bassey, a serving Senator representing Akwa-Ibom North-East.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, in a ruling, dismissed the suit due to lack of jurisdiction and advised the anti-graft commission to file the suit in Akwa Ibom State where the alleged bribe took place.

“The issue of jurisdiction is a fundamental one. In the instant case, the prosecution had failed to give reasons why the suit should be heard within this jurisdiction.

“This court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate on this matter. I hereby strike out this suit for lack of jurisdiction.
“The prosecution should file the charges in Akwa-Ibom where the alleged fraud took place, ” Justice Taiwo said.

Bassey, 46, is faced with corruption charges proffered against him by the EFCC for receiving alleged bribes of 12 cars worth N254 million from an oil marketer, Olajide Omokore, during his tenure (2010-2014) as the Akwa-Ibom Commissioner for Finance.

The anti-graft commission claimed that the car gifts were given to Bassey by Omokore in exchange for contracts from the Akwa Ibom State Government.
The Akwa Ibom Senator was to face a 14-count corruption charge alongside Omokore at an Ikeja Special Offences Court.

Bassey was to specifically face seven-counts of corruption by a public officer and a public officer inviting bribes as a result of his own action.
Omokore, was to face a seven-count charge of offering gratification to a public officer and giving bribe on account of the action of a public officer.

Defence counsel, Solomon Umoh (SAN) and Olatunde Adejuyigbe (SAN), had respectively filed applications contending  that the court had no power to hear the substantive case.
Bassey’s counsel, Umoh, had argued that there was nothing before the court to prove that the alleged crime against Bassey was committed outside Akwa-Ibom or in Lagos State.

“There is nothing in the proof of evidence that suggested that any aspect of the alleged crime against the first defendant was committed outside Akwa-Ibom State and in Lagos State.
“Happily, the prosecution has narrowed everything down that it was cars that was delivered to the first defendant by the second defendant.

“So, we want to ask where were the cars delivered to so we can know what Lagos has to do with Akwa-Ibom State but we have provided the answers in our argument, the cars were delivered in Akwa Ibom State.

“If he (Bassey) received in Akwa-Ibom State, how come they are coming to try him in Lagos State.

“The prosecution have not shown how the first defendant came to Lagos to receive vehicles. They have not shown it anywhere in the proof of evidence.”
Umoh, who further argued that Bassey’s name was not mentioned in the petition written to the EFCC, urged the court to grant his application.

Similarly, Omokore’s counsel, Adejuyigbe, SAN had argued that the contending issue was not insufficiency of evidence but whether they were in the right court.

He further argued that in determining the issue of jurisdiction, the court was not bound by the place stated in the charge.

He said, “The count against the second defendant relates to receiving gratification or giving bribe.
“The section under which those counts were charged did not state time of purchase, place of purchase, mode of payment so we cannot be asking the court to rewrite the law,” he said.
However, the prosecution counsel, Sadisu Abubakar, had argued that the EFCC has the right to try the case before the court.

He said that the applicants tied the issue of jurisdiction to the issue of insufficiency of evidence which he noted was an abuse of court processes.
The offences, according to the EFCC, contravene sections 63 (1)(a), 64 (1)(a) and 98(1), (a), (i) of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011.

Shaw own goal gives Barcelona advantage over Manchester United

Barcelona will take a 1-0 lead over Manchester United into next week’s second leg of their Champions League quarter-final after a 12th-minute Luke Shaw own goal gave them victory at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Sergio Busquets found Lionel Messi with a clever ball into the area and the Argentine carved out space on the left to deliver a lofted cross to Luis Suarez at the back post.

The Uruguayan’s header deflected off the shoulder of a scrambling Shaw and beat David De Gea to give the visitors the lead.

And although the linesman initially flagged for offside, the goal was given after a VAR video review.

United’s best chance of the first half fell to Diogo Dalot but the Portuguese made a mess of a fine Marcus Rashford cross, heading harmlessly across the goal from close-range.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team had struggled to get a foothold in the game during the opening 45 minutes but they were much improved after the break.

United applied plenty of pressure without creating any clear chances.

Barcelona could have added a second had Suarez not fired into the side-netting from a promising position after a clever through ball from Nelson Semedo.

Zenith Bank shareholders task incoming MD on corporate governance

Zenith International Bank Plc shareholders on Wednesday urged the incoming Managing Director, Mr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, to improve on the bank’s corporate governance for sustainable growth and development.

Mr Moses Igbrude, Publicity Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said in Lagos that the bank had set some positive standards that needed to be improved upon.
Igbrude said that the bank had maintained leadership as the first financial institution to release results and conduct Annual General Meeting (AGM).

He said that the new Managing Director must maintain the trend, noting that shareholders would not expect anything less.

“Zenith Bank as a bank has set certain standards of being the first to release its results, being the first to do its AGM and pay dividend, as well as the first to declare interim dividends.

Shareholders do not expect anything less than that, this culture must be sustained, the new Managing Director must and should improve on the standards he met on ground,” Igbrude said.

He said that the shareholders would not accept anything less from Onyeagwu, urging the board to give the incoming Managing Director the needed support.
Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., said that the bank had set the record of growing its earnings on quarterly and yearly basis.

Omordion said that the trend would likely continue with the appointment of Onyeagwu who had been in the bank.
He said that the new Managing Director had been part of the bank for over two decades and he understood the vision and operations to drive profit and create more value for investors.

Zenith Bank on April 8 appointed Onyeagwu as it new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
The bank, which stated this in a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, said the appointment was subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and would become effective from June 1.

According to the notice, Onyeagwu will replace Mr Peter Amangbo, whose tenure will expire on May 31, 2019.
Onyeagwu has been Zenith Bank’s Deputy Managing Director since October, 2016 and has spent 17 years working with the bank.

The bank said that the appointment was consistent with its tradition and succession strategy of grooming leaders from within.

Onyeagwu, who is a graduate of accounting from Auchi Polytechnic, began his career at the defunct Financial Merchant Bank in 1991 and later held several management positions in the erstwhile Citizens International Bank Limited until 2002 when he joined Zenith Bank.

He obtained a postgraduate diploma in Financial Strategy and a certificate in Macroeconomics from the University of Oxford.

I was blindfolded, says freed Lagos fire service chief

Freed Acting Director of Lagos State Fire Service Rasaki Musibau said he could not recognise the two suspects arrested by the police because he was blindfolded by his abductors.

Musibau told a jubilant crowd on Wednesday at the headquarters of the fire service, Alausa, Ikeja.

The Lagos State Police Command had earlier said it has arrested two suspects in connection with the abduction.

Police spokesman Bala Elkana, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), released the picture of the suspects.

When asked if he could recognise the suspects, the fire service chief said he could not.

“I was blindfolded by my abductors. There is no way I could recognise them,” he said.

According to him, the kidnappers whisked him away around 6pm as against 8pm reported by the media while going to Epe.

“I ran into them (the kidnappers). They were operating freely on that road (Epe-Itoikin). Some people were lucky not to have been abducted. They just robbed them and allow them to go.

“In fact, some vehicles before me were robbed at gunpoint. When I ran into them, they smashed the windscreen of my vehicle. At that point I was kidnapped; I met two other persons that have been abducted. Not quite long, they whisked us away,” he said.

Musibau, who arrived office around 8:30am, was welcomed by jubilant workers.

They offered prayers to God for returning him alive. Praise songs and dances followed.

He thanked them for standing by him and his family during the turbulent period.

According to him, the abductors dropped him somewhere in Ikorodu before he called workers at the Ikorodu Fire Service Station.

The Nation learnt that it was at that station he was taken home.

According to Musibau, four persons were freed by the abductors, remaining three in their captivity.

It was learnt that the family members of those still in captivity are yet to pay their ransom.

Musibau toured all the offices to greet people and express gratitude.

Afterwards, he went to his office before leaving for the secretariat in Alausa.

Police spokesman said Musibau and others kidnapped were freed around 11:45pm inside the forest where the kidnappers kept them by a joint security force.

Elkana said they were released unhurt and have been reunited with their families.

Alleged fraud: EFCC opens case against Ecobank, staff

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday opened its case against Ecobank Plc and one of its employees Anieka Udoh at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

It accused the bank and Udoh of “negligently” failing to exercise due diligence in relation to conduct of financial transactions with Major-General Umaru Mohammed.

The prosecution called its first witness, Jones Oboh, in the alleged $50,000 and N9.2million fraud case.

The commission said the defendants fraudulently converted the army chief’s Ecobank MasterCard account numbered 0015052989 from debit card to credit card.

It said they debited the account of over USD 50,000 “without the knowledge and authority of Major-General Umaru Mohammed.”

Oboh, a former Loan Recovery and Collection Officer with the bank, said the bank operated the account for five years without the customer’s knowledge.

Led in evidence by prosecution counsel Bilikisu Buhari, the witness said it reflected on his system that Mohammed owed the bank N9.2million.

“After checking the records of those owing the bank, I discovered that Mohammed was one of those granted loans by Ecobank Plc.

“Sometime in March 2018, I called Mohammed on the phone to find out when he was going to pay back his loan.

“But to my surprise, he said he did not owe the bank and that there was no time he applied for any form of loan from the bank. Thereafter, a meeting was set up between the bank and Mohammed through me.

“It was in the meeting that Mohammed was told that his account was in the debit of N9.2million, showing that he utilised his Master Credit Card over a period of time.

“Mohammed informed the bank that there was no time he applied for a Master Credit Card from Ecobank and that the only transaction he had with the bank was that he applied to open a domiciliary account in which a debit card was issued to him so as to use it whenever he travels out of the country,” Oboh said.

The witness said found out that in April 2013, the sum of $38,725 was recorded against the complainant.

“In July 2014, a reversal of $32,887 was made on the account of Mohammed, leaving a debit of $6,125 in 2014.

“Afterwards, the bank opened a naira account in Mohammed’s name without his knowledge and dollars were converted to N261 to a dollar from his domiciliary account, leaving a debit balance of N3.1million on the Naira account.”

The witness said the bank never wrote or invited the complainant to bring to his notice all the “eventualities” on his accounts for five years until he took a step to do that.

“The bank left the account to grow in debit from N3.1million to N9.2million without informing the account owner.

“The second defendant, Anieka Udoh, was the account officer of the complainant,” the witness said.

Justice Saliu Saidu adjourned until April 18 for continuation of trial.

Unilag denies honouring E-money with doctorate degree

The University of Lagos has denied awarding Emeka Okonkwo also known as Emoney with an honorary doctorate degree in Business Management and Corporate Governance.

This came after it was reported that Emoney received the Award form the University on Tuesday alongside the incoming Deputy Governor of Lagos State’s father Olatunji Hamzat.

Though Emoney on his post said the doctorate degree was given to him by the European-American University in an event held in Unilag, he never mentioned receiving the award from Unilag.

God be the glory! I have just received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Management and Corporate Governance from the European-American University at an event that held inside the University of Lagos,” Emoney posted on Instagram on Monday.

“I’m joined here by the incoming Deputy Governor of Lagos, Dr Obafemi Hamzat whose father, Olatunji Hamzat (an influential politician) also bagged a Doctorate Degree,” he added.

Unilag in a statement by its Principal Assistant Registrar, Communication Unit, for Management, Taiwo Oloyede named the personalities its awarded the doctorate degree as follows which excludes E-money’s name.

“The University of Lagos, #UnilagNigeria, on Thursday, April 4, 2019, at its 50th (2018) Convocation Ceremonies (Day 3), conferred Distinguished & Emeritus Professorship and Honorary Doctorate Degrees on the following eminent personalities:

“Prof. James Dele Olowokudejo, a Professor of Plant Taxonomy, – Distinguished Professorship award, Prof. Sulaiman A. Adekola of the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering – Emeritus Professorship award, Alhaji Lateef Olufemi Okunnu, a foremost Lawyer & a former Federal Commissioner for Works & Housing- Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa) of the University.

“Dr Daniel K. Olukoya, founder of Mountain of Fire Miracles Ministries and a Molecular Geneticist – Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa) of the University, Mr Jim Ovia, founder and Chairman of ZenithBank – Honourary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa) of the University of Lagos,” She added.

Oloyede, however, affirmed that the “afore-mentioned personalities are the only people who were conferred with these awards by the University of Lagos at the 50th Convocation Ceremonies, thus, any story stating otherwise is false and should be amended accordingly.”

“Please note that the University’s official colours are maroon and gold and the personalities who were conferred with these honorary awards by the Chancellor of the University (see pictures) are in the appropriate attire,” she said.

 

Italian murders Nigerian prostitute for failing to satisfy him

 

The Police in Italy have taken in Leopoldo Scalici, a 40-year-old from Palermo who confessed to murdering a Nigerian prostitute identified as Benedita Dan.

According to Italian newspaper Modena Today, Denebita operated as a prostitute in the industrial area of Modena Nord, but her body was found on Sunday morning lying in a small moat by Toni, in the countryside of Albareto.

Between Saturday and Sunday, Scalici approached the prostitute on the streets and loaded her on board the van on which he was travelling to reach a secluded place where they were believed to have had sex. The vehicle in question, identified and seized by the Carabinieri, was not owned by the 40-year-old but by an acquaintance who had lent it to him to carry out some work.

Not everything is known about what triggered the aggression, which occurred immediately after the sexual relationship, but the paper said it it there was some hypothesis of a sense of dissatisfaction on the part of the client, who reacted badly in a fit of rage.

Scalici said he hit the stranger on the head with a heavy workbench vise — a blow that would have been lethal.

The exact place where the crime took place has not been disclosed, but it can be assumed that it took place in one of the various secluded pitches used by African prostitutes practising in the industrial area of Modena Nord. From there, the man would then reach stradello Toni, where he declared that he had thrown the woman’s naked body and clothes, as found by investigators.

An autopsy  is scheduled to be conducted to verify all the claims made so far by Scalici.

JAMB bans wrist watches, pens, phones, 15 others at UTME centres

The 1.8million candidates sitting for the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) from Thursday 11 April are prohibited from bringing 18 items to centres where the tests would take place.

The prohibited items listed by an official of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) are Wrist Watches, Pen/Biros, Mobile phones or similar electronic devices, Spy reading glasses,calculators or similar electronic devices, USB, CD, hard disks and or similar storage devices and books or any reading/writing material.

Other banned items are Cameras, Recorders, Microphones, Ear pieces, Ink/pen readers, Smart lenses, Smart rings/ jewellery, Smart buttons, Bluetooth devices, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards and Erasers

The examination will end next week.

Fabian Benjamin, JAMB spokesman told Premium Times, the online newspaper that the items were prohibited to secure the sanctity and integrity of the board’s examination.

He said examination officials are allowed to scrutinise eye glasses or similar devices and when convinced that such items may compromise the sanctity of the examination, the examination official should confiscate them.

”We urge candidates to abide by the rules and regulations of the board. Candidates should not come with any of the prohibited items,” he said.

Lamido didn’t import fetish blind men for Bindow’s election, says royal family

The Modibbo Adama Descendants Liaison Office, a body of descendants of the founding Lamido of Adamawa, has dismissed claims that the incumbent Lamido, Muhammadu Musdafa, imported three blind men from Burkina Faso “to perform fetish” acts to win the March 9 governorship election for Governor Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow.

The group described the claim as a brazen and misguided form of hate speech by its author, Ibrahim Mustapha, otherwise called Baba 10, in an advertorial published in a newspaper.

The Modibbo Adama Descendants Liaison Office said the “cock and bull story of the three blind men” was an obnoxious and unfounded claim intended to tarnish the image of the Lamido Adamawa and the traditional institution.

The body also faulted the claim by Mustapha that the reigning Lamido was foisted on the emirate, asserting that the Lamido ascended the throne in March 2010, when a duly formed kingmakers committee selected him and was approved by the state government.

The Adama Modibbo descendants, in a refutal signed by its liaison officer, Aminu Nyibango, said the claim and other allegations were calculated to insult the Lamido and desecrate the legacy of the founder of the throne.

“Evidently, the euphoria of the author on the victory of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the recent governorship election in Adamawa State has provided a platform for him to launch another wave of blackmail and mischief in the media.

“The author, who was defeated as a candidate of another political party for the seat of House of Representatives, hijacked the victory of the PDP candidate to vent his anger and frustration,” the group stated.

The group demanded formal apology from the author of the controversial advertorial.

FEC approves N2.8bn contract to decongest prisons electronically

The sum of N2.8bn was approved by the  Federal Executive Council on Wednesday to help speed up the decongestion of crowded prisons in the country by digital connectivity.

The project will establish a digital web-based, integrated system that will monitor all prisons real-time to determine the number of inmates, their movements between courts, those awaiting trial or wrongly imprisoned and the time required to conclude the cases of individual prisoners.

Wednesday’s FEC meeting was presided over  by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, spoke on the project as the meeting rose.

He said the stakeholders to be connected to the system included his office, the Nigeria Prisons Service and the Nigeria Police.

With the envisaged system in place, the AGF said the analogue method of using visitation committees to determine those inmates to be pardoned would become a thing of the past.

Another N291.73m was also approved by FEC for the procurement of an aviation security system called Memory Access Retrieval System.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, told State House correspondents that the system would help in accident investigations.

“(It) will enhance our laboratory in accident investigations. It is a requirement of International Civil Aviation Organisation in the standard practices and applicable by local laws,” he stated.

On the fire incident that occurred at the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, the minister said investigation into it was ongoing, adding that the report of the findings would be made available to Nigerians.

Two more contracts under the Federal Government’s N-Power Build Programme were also approved by FEC on Wednesday.

They are a component of the National Social Investment Programme specifically targeted at 75,000 fresh graduates in the age bracket18-35 years.

“It aims to build a high crop of highly competent and skilled workforce of technicians, artisans and service professionals, who will be trained and tooled.

“They will be transitioned annually to take up jobs as electrical installation technicians, plumbing and pipe-fitting installers, masons, carpentry and gentry experts, welders, fabricators, professional painters, building technicians and so on.

“The focus has so far been zone by zone. Today, the contract for the South-East zone of Nigeria was awarded to Hitech Investment Ltd at the sum of N122.8m. It covers all the states in the South-East.

“The one for the North-West zone was awarded to Noble Ventures Limited in the sum of N145.1m and it covers all the states in the North-West,” the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma, said.

Insecurity: Senate slams FG, insists only state police can stop banditry

The Senate on Wednesday berated the Federal Government over its inability to tackle the alarming rate of insecurity in the country, particularly banditry in the North-West geopolitical zone. It  stressed that introduction of  state police remained the only solution to the menace.

The Senate took the position following separate motions moved by senators Emmanuel Bwacha from Taraba State and his colleague from Zamfara State, Kabir Marafa.

While Bwacha drew the attention of the red chamber to the inability of the security agencies to tackle the rising cases of kidnapping in Taraba, Marafa lamented the unabated killings of his people by bandits.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said apart from the establishment of community or state police, the funding of the Nigeria Police Force was essential to tackle the menace.

He said, “From the contributions we have had, I think it is key that we begin to look at the problem and look for long-term solutions. I think that what we did yesterday (Tuesday) in trying to strengthen the funding of the police through the Police Reform Bill is right.

“The sooner that we can pass that bill will also help us in addressing the insecurity challenges.

“But more importantly is that we must go back to what a lot of us had been advocating here that there is the need for us to have state or community police. It is the way forward. Otherwise, we will continue to run into these problems.

“On the area of oversight, there is a lot also that we need to do to ensure that we hold the security agencies accountable. And we need to move very fast in this area.”

The Senate in its resolution commended Nigerians irrespective of cultural, religious and ethnic differences for coming out in large numbers to show solidarity to the plight of their brothers and sisters in Zamfara.

The red chamber urged the National Assembly to make provision for N10bn in the 2019 appropriation bill as intervention fund to cater for the Internally Displaced Persons and other persons affected by the activities of bandits in Zamfara State.

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to set up an ad hoc committee to be known as presidential initiative on Zamfara with a 10-year lifespan to manage the said funds and subsequent allocations and donations.

Marafa, who rose through orders 42 and 52 of the Senate standing rules to move his motion, said the problem of insecurity in Zamfara State was deteriorating daily, adding that this called for urgent legislative intervention.

Marafa said, “Since 2011, as a result of the unabating activities of the criminals in the state, roughly estimated 11,000 males have been killed leaving behind an average of 22,000 widows and by extension, 44,000 orphans.

“These figures are just by conservative estimates because the figures are higher. Bandits and heavily armed kidnappers operate with little or no resistance in Gusau, the state capital, making less than 75 per cent of the people in Zamfara not to be sleeping in their houses.

“The situation has nothing to do with politics because my own blood sister was brutally murdered in her matrimonial home in February this year and even two of my cousins were killed outside the state capital few weeks back.”

Bwacha, on his own part, alerted the chamber on the series of kidnappings in his state and suggested that there should be legislative backing for individuals who wanted to carry arms for self- defence.

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, commended Marafa for always bringing the deteriorating security situation in Zamfara to the front burner of discourse in the Senate .

He said, “For government to tackle the security problem headlong, the abnormality of Nigeria being the only federation with centralised police, must be addressed.”

The Senate Chief Whip, Olusola Adeyeye, said the problem of the country was the constitution itself, which he noted, provided for an “over- centralised federation or better put, unitary system as against a federal system of government.”

According to him, as long as the problematic constitution is not amended by way of removing policing from the exclusive list to the concurrent list to pave the way for state police, criminality at local levels will continue unabated.

 

Atiku disowns ‘Pukka’ billboards, posters in Abuja, Yola

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar has disowned campaign posters titled “The Pukka’’ that festooned some of the major streets of the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.

Atiku disowned the posters in a statement issued by his media adviser, Mr Paul Ibe, on Wednesday.

Pukka, an Hindi word, means “authentic, genuine, sure, solid and excellent”.

The posters boldly carry Abubakar’s portrait and the message, ‘HE Atiku Abubakar GCON, The Real and The Right’, with a web address www.deservation.org, which the News Agency of Nigeria found belongs to a group of the same name based in Magaji/Sanda ward in Yola.

NAN correspondent in Yola confirmed that the posters have also appeared on some streets in the capital of Adamawa, Atiku’s home state.

Dr.Sani Adamu, the director-general of the Atiku Deservation Group, an Atiku Abubakar campaign group, claimed the group was not waging a political campaign or breaching the campaign rules of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“Our attention has been drawn to posters of Abubakar, Presidential candidate of PDP in the 2019 election being circulated in Abuja”, said Paul Ibe in a statement.

“We dissociate the former Vice President of Nigeria from the said posters in circulation. The campaign season is over. The tainted electoral victory by the incumbent is being challenged in court.

“We refuse to be distracted, which is exactly the objective of our opponents, but to remain focused on diligently pursuing our election petition with a view to retrieving the stolen mandate.’’

Ibe earlier in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that the posters had nothing to do with the just concluded elections and the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization had no connection with it.

“I have not seen the posters. I am just hearing it from you. We are not aware of it. Whatever it is it not connected to the PDP campaign organisation.

“The campaign season has long been over but following the electoral hype by the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abubakar, as a democrat has submitted himself to the electoral tribunal to decide on matters arising from the concluded election.’’

A search on the web address (www.deservation.org) shows Atiku Deservation Movement (Project 774 for Atiku 2019) with RC 1167591 with the contact Magaji/Sanda Ward Yola South Adamawa State as well as phone number and a mail address.

The boldness of the campaign and the meaning it connotes have triggered questions whether the group behind it has not breached the electoral law. The campaign for presidential election began on 19 November 2018 and officially ended 48 hours to the election initially scheduled for 16 February, 2019.

Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act, 1999 as amended states that every political party shall commence campaigns 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.

Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of  the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in an interview with NAN, said that the posters could not be considered as campaign materials.

Oyekanmi, who said he had not seen any of the posters said if a poster has no party logo or name, the commission does not consider it to be campaign materials.

“Is there anything like party name or logo on it? If a poster does not contain any of these or ‘vote for a person’ the commission does not see it as campaign.The election is over and I wonder if anybody will be campaigning for an election that had been concluded,’’ Oyekanmi said.

Dr. Sani Adamu, the Executive Director of the Deservation group in a telephone interview with NAN, justified the poster’s PUKKA theme. He claimed that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the PDP in the just concluded presidential election is Nigeria’s authentic president.

Reminded that Abubakar already has a case before the presidential election petition tribunal, Adamu expressed confidence that Abubakar would get justice at the tribunal.

He insisted that the posters in circulation were not for campaign, adding that they did not carry the logo of any political party.

He also explained that the posters did not carry ‘vote’ Abubakar, insisting that it was not for campaign.

He said that the group was established to galvanise support for credible candidates that can make Nigeria great.

“We support only candidates and not political parties,” he said.

Abubakar was also recently reported to have hired two American lawyers, close to President Donald Trump, to lobby Trump’s inner circle and the Congress, so that the United States can delay recognising President Muhammadu Buhari as the elected President of Nigeria. He also wanted to be recognised ‘as the authentic President’ of Nigeria, going by the claims he has made at the tribunal.

PDP abusing freedom of speech, says AGF

Abubakar Malami, attorney general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of “taking the freedom of speech too far”.

Malami was reacting to the allegations that he was involved in a plot to cause constitutional crisis in Rivers state.

The PDP had alleged that Malami and Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, were pressuring the supreme court to reverse the nullification of the primaries of Rivers chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

The court had upheld the verdict of the trial court that excluded the APC from participating in the general election that held in the state, ruling that the APC did not conduct credible primary elections.

But fielding questions from state house correspondents on the outcome of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday  Malami said “the PDP has taken freedom of speech too far.”

He said unless otherwise proven in court that he is involved in the act, the allegation will remain an accusation.

“Regarding what was leveled against me by PDP, I think it remains an accusation. It has to remain so until proven through a judicial process,” he said.

“But for me I think it is freedom of speech that has been taken too far.”