Tuesday , 16 July 2019
Latest
Home » Author Archives: Editor (page 30)

Author Archives: Editor

Operators fault MTN Nigeria listing over free float

Stakeholders in the capital market have faulted the listing of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc. on the nation’s bourse in spite of unavailability of the mandatory 20 per cent free float.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that the price of MTN Nigeria shares would continue to skyrocket due to its scarcity at the detriment of retail shareholders.

The stakeholders blamed the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for approving the company’s listing without the mandatory free float.

Free float or public float refers to the shares of a company that can be publicly traded and are not restricted.

In other words, the term is used to describe the number of shares available to the public for trading in the secondary market.

NAN reports that free float for companies listed under NSE Premium Board is 20 per cent.

Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, Invest Data Ltd, expressed disappointment at the development, saying that the listing was at the expense of retail shareholders.

Omordion urged that market regulators should be committed to the protection  of retail investors  to encourage their participation in the  market.

He claimed that the shareholding structure of MTN Nigeria showed that the 23.92 per cent said to be floating were held by institutional and individual high net worth investors.

According to him, the investors are using the exchange to enrich themselves at the expense of retail investors who want to be part owners of the company.

“The 20 per cent minimum free float is one of the listing requirement, but it seems to be post listing requirement since companies are listed and given time to meet the minimum free float.

“The companies that got listed recently apart from MTN Nigeria that failed to meet the requirements are Global spectrum, Notore Chemical and others,” Omordion noted.

He  told NAN  that the existing shareholders of MTN Nigeria were making it difficult for new shareholders to buy due to the tight holding structure and small float.

Omordion claimed that the high demand was currently causing problem at the exchange.

He said that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), NSE and brokers  would benefit from the situation,  leaving potential  local  shareholders to buy the shares at a high rate.

The Founder of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Mr Sunny Nwosu, described the listing as  dissatisfactory.

“Our conclusion as shareholders is that they have come to play us a game which is not far from a fraudulent game; the nominal value of MTN shares is not certain.

“These are areas  SEC should ask NSE questions rather than the issue of gifts sharing at AGMS and ban of pre-AGM.

“Up until now, no prospective shareholder can tell you this is what MTN Nigeria stands for,” Nwosu said.

He said that the exchange set a bad precedent in the market by allowing some companies to list without meeting the free float requirement.

“There have been a very bad precedent recently in the market; Dangote Cement and some other companies were given preference treatment.

“Whenever any company wants to come for listing by introduction,  that free float which they have agreed with,  must be open and for the  investing public.

“Let everyone scramble and get from that, and not a situation where you will be listed by introduction and the shares are not available,” Nwosu said.

The ISAN Publicity Secretary, Mr Moses Igbrude, described the listing as a welcome development,  but urged the management of exchange to ensure compliance to the minimum free float to all listed companies in the market.

“If the requirements is not met,  there will be artificial scarcity of the company’s shares, making new investors to buy at high price which is not supposed to be.

“The exchange managers should not allow such a behaviour because it can erode investors’ confidence on the market.

‘’They must be seen to be transparent and fair as well as treat all companies equally,” Igbrude said.

READ ALSO:   Chief Magistrate urges public office holders to adhere to oaths

NAN reports that MTN Nigeria on May 16, listed a total of 20.35 billion shares at N90 per share.

The stock at the first trading day rose by nine naira  or 10 per cent to close at N99 per share.

It increased on the second trading day,  on May 17,  by 10 per cent to close at N108.90 per share.

The shareholding structure of MTN Nigeria shows that the controlling entity is MTN International Ltd., which owes 15,485,544,050, representing 76.08 per cent of the shares.

On the other hand, the non-controlling entities in the telecommunications company include: Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Ltd. with 1,962,349, 050 (9.64 per cent), Chief Victor Odili, 806,886,900 (3.96 per cent) and Mobile Telephone Network N.I.C.B.V with 559,720,150 (2.75 per cent).

Others are: Government Employees Pension Fund (represented by Public Investment Corporation SOC Ltd.), 355,281,650 units (1.75 per cent) and Mr Pascal Dozie with 340,409,900 units (1.67 per cent).

Other non-controlling entities are: Mr Sani Mohammed Bello, 265,092,150 (1.30 per cent); Mr Babatunde Folawiyo, 218,815,100 (1.08 per cent); Mr Gbenga Oyebode with 181,776,250 units (0.89 per cent).

The others are Malam Ahmed Dasuki with 177,717,850 units (0.87 per cent) and Mr Karl Toriola with 920,000 units (0.005 per cent). (NAN)

NASS clamps down on press scrutiny … invokes stringent accreditation rules

In what appears to be a major clampdown on press scrutiny of its activities, the National Assembly on Monday released new guidelines for accreditation of journalists.

This is coming barely three weeks to the expiration of the 8th National Assembly and the Proclamation and inauguration of the 9th Assembly as well as election of Principal Officers.

The guidelines which was issued on Monday, stipulates among other things, that media house would only be entitled to one accreditation for both chambers except for those that require a photographer or videographer.

The guidelines signed by Barr. Agada, Director of Information, also stated that all media organisations seeking accreditation must submit evidence of tax returns for the last two years prior to their request.

An analysis of the new guidelines suggest a new definition of news media and indeed freedom of the press to cover the parliamentary activities, which is bound to be challenged.

Read below the guidelines as obtained by our correspondent:

NEW GUIDELINES FOR THE ACCREDITATION OF MEDIA ORGANISATIONS, JOURNALISTS/ CORRESPONDENTS COVERING THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

1.0 Number of journalists/correspondents to be accredited for prints, electronic and online media for Senate and House of Representatives respectively.

1.1 Television – 1 Reporter and 1 Cameraman
1.2 Radio 1 Reporter
1.3 Independent Producers – 1 Reporter and 1 Cameramen
1.4 Online Media 1 Reporter and 1 Photographer

CLASSIFICATION OF ACCREDITATION
2.1 Permanent Accreditation 2.2 Temporary Accreditation
2.3 Foreign/lnternational Media Houses 2.4 Freelance

3.0 REQUIREMENT FOR PERMANENT ACCREDITATION OF JOURNALISTS/CORRESPONDENTS FOR PRINT, ELECTRONIC AND ONLINE MEDIA ORGANISATIONS

3.1 Evidence of certificate of incorporation of the media organisation.
3.2 Evidence of membership of professional bodies for media organization.
3.3 Proof of membership of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) with registration number.

3.4 Code of certification from the National Library for the media organization.

3.5 Functional Bureau in Abuja (Staff Strength not less than 5 Editorial staff and daily circulation of 40,000 copies for the print media with evidence to support the claimed circulation figure.

3.6 Media Houses must be publishing daily and on weekend (Applicable to Online Media).

3.7 Re-certification form must be signed and endorsed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Media organization Bureau Chief, City Editor as the case may be.

3.8 The Media organization concerned must have experience of covering proceedings of the National Assembly for at least two (2) years before applying for permanent accreditation.

3.9 All media organization will submit a copy of its income tax return for the last two years.

3.10 All online media must have at least 5000 viewership per day, the site must have been in operation for 5 years and provide satisfactory evidence to this effect with clippings of the news utilized (especially parliamentary news).

3.11 Only television stations with national coverage and specific independent producers with current running programme on the National Assembly will be allowed access into the Chambers on a permanent basis (All the production crew will be accredited as entity).

3.12 All correspondents must attach photocopy of letter of appointment of the media organization on whose behalf request has been received for grant of accreditation.

3.13 All freelance journalist seeking permanent accreditation must show evidence of not less than 5 years coverage of the National Assembly proceedings/full editorial focus and publication on parliamentary reportage.

4.0 It is only Journalists and correspondence whose media organisations meet the above requirements for Permanent accreditation that will be entitled to carry National Assembly Identity Card/Membership of the respective Press Corp

5.0 All other media organization who do not meet the above requirement will be captured under the Temporary accreditation status and they will not be entitled to carry National Assembly Identity Card/Membership of the Press Corp of the Senate and House of Representatives.

6.0 All Temporary accredited media houses, journalists/correspondents shall be allowed permit into the National Assembly for specific coverage not exceeding one (1) week in the first instance and not more than twice in a month.

7.0 All foreign/international media houses seeking accreditation shall abide by all the Diplomatic Protocols established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for foreign media organizations, the Code of Ethics for Nigerian Journalists and security clearance before accreditation will be considered upon the recommendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

8.0 All permanently accredited journalists/correspondents shall submit recertification letter from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of their media organization on a sessional basis failure to which accreditation shall be withdrawn forthwith.

9.0 All accredited media organization will be considered as a single entity in the issuance of passes irrespective of their membership of Senate and House of Representatives Press Corp.

10.0 This new accreditation guidelines shall come into effect from June 11 2019.

Facebook’s revelation has exposed APC, Buhari – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of using Facebook as a platform for weakening the growth of democracy in Nigeria.

The main opposition party said Facebook’s revelation detailing the manipulations and disinformation in the 2019 general election are indications that Buhari and APC will go as far as any length to sustain power, no matter who gets hurt.

Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP’s national publicity secretary, said this in a statement.

He said Buhari and his party did not only make effort to negatively change the perception of Nigerians against Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential candidate, but also resorted to accusing Atiku with false claims to divert attention.

He added that such effort will result in nothing, as Nigerians are more aware of the evils of the APC administration.

“Our party notes that there are more damning  revelations against the APC, not only on its rigging of the general election, but also on how it is working against our nation, which will come to light at the appropriate time,” the statement reads.

“The APC, which engaged in manipulation to foist itself, will do anything, no matter how vile, to sustain itself in office, not minding the social, economic and collateral damages such could cause our dear nation.

“It is, however, to say the least, despicable that in their desperation to hold on to power at all costs, President Buhari’s handlers and the APC engaged in this sneaky disinformation, internet lies and smear campaigns against the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

“The Facebook’s revelation exposes how President Buhari, in his claimed integrity, allowed the enlisting of criminals, hackers and Internet fraudsters in the desperate attempt to manipulate the views of Nigerians against Atiku Abubakar.

“The scheme failed as Nigerians had already made up their minds to do away with the incompetent, deceptive, vindictive and corrupt APC administration.

“The APC has now commenced a renewed plot to engage in fabricated security accusations against the PDP and our presidential candidate in another desperate stunt to play the victim and divert attention from its endless election manipulations, all in the ill-fated attempt to demonise the PDP, hoodwink Nigerians and confer legitimacy on the outcome of the rigged election.

“Since the Facebook’s revelation, the Federal Government and the Presidency have suddenly gone dumb, having been exposed and shown in their true colours.”

Shocking: Okorocha hands over state hospitals to Churches, security agencies

The Imo Government on Monday handed over state-owned general hospitals to some security agencies, the Anglican and The Lord’s Chosen churches to be operated under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative of the state government.

The event took place at the Imo Government House, Owerri with the signing of the Memoranda of Understanding with the beneficiaries.

Speaking at the event, Gov. Rochas Okorocha said the initiative was part of the efforts to expand the scope of government.

Okorocha said that history had shown that the private sector was better equipped to run establishments than the government.

He urged the beneficiaries to respect the terms of the MOU and hand the facilities back to the government at the expiration of the lease period.

The governor said that the hospitals had not been sold to them.

He directed that the beneficiaries of the facilities should pay N100,000 every month to the state government, while government would be entitled to 10 per cent stake.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that three hospitals were leased to the Anglican Church for a period of five years with an 18-month moratorium, while the Claretian and Lord’s Chosen Universities secured 99-year leases, also with an 18-month moratorium each.

NAN reports that benefiting security agencies included the Nigerian Army (Owerri West General Hospital), Nigerian Navy (Ngor Okpala Hospital), Nigerian Airforce (Owerri North General Hospital) and Police (Ideator South General Hospital).

UK Court jails 3 Nigerians for 40 years over drugs, illegal arms deals

Three Nigerians — Kennedy Udo, Michael Mgbedike and Emmanuel Okubote, have been sentenced to a combined 40 years in prison by a Woolwich Crown Court in the United Kingdom (UK) for breaking the law.

According to a tweet by the UK Metropolitan police, the trio aged 29, 22 and 27 respectively landed in jail for attempting to smuggle ammunition and drugs into the UK via Eurotunnel.

The tweet said Udo of Avery Hill Road, Eltham, SE9 was sentenced to eight years and six months, having been found guilty of conspiracy to supply drugs and being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of a prohibition on the importation of goods.

Mgbedike of Spur Road, Orpington, BR6 was sentenced to eight years, having been found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

While Okubote of Evan Cook Close, Peckham, SE15 was found guilty of conspiracy to supply firearms with intent to endanger life, conspiracy to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life, conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possessing ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Metropolitan Police

@metpoliceuk

Three men who conspired to transport firearms and drugs into the UK via Eurotunnel have been sentenced to a total of 40 years following an operation by the Met, the UK Border Force and CPS. http://news.met.police.uk/news/three-men-jailed-for-firearms-offences-369737 

191 people are talking about this

‘Nigeria safe for world leaders expected at Buhari’s inauguration’

Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, says Nigeria is safe for world leaders invited to the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29.

Mohammed spoke while fielding questions from journalists at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

The minister had been asked to tell Nigerians measures that have been taken to make the country safe since he raised an alarm that opposition was planning to sabotage government.

But he responded saying that said he would not disclose measures taken by the government at the press conference.

“Nigeria is safe for all world leaders to attend [the inauguration]… Even if we are taking measures, will I tell you here?” Mohammed said.

Earlier, the minister said the celebration that comes with May 29 would be deferred to June 12.

“Mr. President last year declared June 12 as Democracy Day and a national holiday. He also said the official commencement of the new Democracy Day will be in 2019,” he said.

“It is in fulfillment of this declaration, therefore, that the Federal Executive Council decided, at its meeting on Wednesday May 8th 2019, to have a low-key presidential inauguration on May 29th, and then defer the celebration that comes with it to the June 12 Democracy Day.

“The Federal Executive Council Valedictory Session will be held at the Council Chambers, State House, Abuja, on Wednesday, May 22nd; a Special Jumat Lecture and prayer will be held on Friday May 24th at
the National Mosque; the First Lady’s interaction with women is slated for the Old Chamber at the State House on Saturday May 25th while a special Interdenominational Church Service is slated for Sunday May 26 at the National Christian Centre.

“On Monday, May 27th, Mr. President will give a Children’s Day broadcast, to be followed later in the day by a Children’s Variety Party.

“The swearing in of the President and the vice-president is slated for Wednesday, May 29th at the Eagle Square, to be followed by a State Banquet at the State House in the evening of the same day.”

CSOs ask new Kano emirs to resign

At least 22 civil society organisations have called on the newly appointed emirs in Kano state to resign.

The groups also called on Muhammadu Abubakar, sultan of Sokoto, to denounce the the additional emirates in Kano.

Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of the state, had appointed four new emirs in the state, an action believed to be political and targetted at Muhammadu Sanusi, emir of Kano, who reportedly worked against the governor’s reelection.

Speaking during a press conference, Abdulrahman Yola, a representative of the CSOs, asked Ganduje to concentrate on addressing the socio-economic and developmental challenges in the state.

“Kano State harbours more than two million Almajiris roaming the streets, without any tangible and sustainable intervention to checkmate the ugly situation,” Yola said.

“Kano takes the lead in substance and drug abuse, we have the highest number of school dropouts, the highest cases of congested classrooms in the country, with over 150 – 200 pupils in a class.

“Reliable statistics indicate more than three million, five hundred thousand unemployed youths in Kano, more than two million girl children who do not attend formal school in Kano, more than five million people who do not have access to potable drinking water and one of the states with the highest maternal mortality rate in Nigeria.

“And with all these challenges, the next solution is the creation of new emirates?”

Saida Sa’ad, another member of the coalition, accused the state assembly of violating legislative process and placing undue attention on an “unpopular bill”.

“We have Kano state security trust fund law bill unattended to in the last six years; violence against person prohibition law bill in the last 12 months; child rights act bill, 24 months; procurement law bill, six years; audit law bill; fiscal responsibility law bill and due process law bill,” she said.

“All are either with the house or governor without being given attention, only to pass a bill in less than 48 hours and the governor assented in less than 24 hours.

“Can we convince ourselves that the creation of additional emirate councils was done in good faith, and in the overall public interest and for genuine progress of the state?”

But in his reaction, Muhamamad Garba, the state’s commissioner for information, said the government’s action cannot be reversed.

He said the challenges confronting the state had been existing before the administration of Ganduje, saying the governor had empowered more than one million youths, including almajiris.

We are investigating Okorocha, says Magu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it is investigating Rochas Okorocha, governor of Imo state.

Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the anti-graft agency, disclosed this in an interview with Channels Television.

Asked if an investigation is ongoing regarding the governor, he responded, “definitely”.

“Of course, we are doing a couple of checks and investigations here and there. We are investigating almost everybody,” he said.

He said the commission has to get to a certain level before it can disclose any information about an ongoing investigation.

Magu explained that this was necessary to prevent any action that can jeopardise or interfere with the process of the inquiry.

The anti-graft czar said though he was aware of reports of the investigation on the social media, the details the anti-graft agency has is different from what is in the public space.

Magu granted the interview in the United Kingdom to meet with investigators assisting the Nigerian government in solving cases of money laundering and financial crimes.

Okorocha is currently in court with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the certificate of return of Imo west senatorial district.

He was declared winner of the election but INEC withdrew the certificate, saying the returning officer was forced to announce Okorocha as winner.

The governor contested the election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The immunity Okorocha enjoys at the moment will end when his tenure expires in nine days.

Court orders INEC to withdraw 25 Certificates-of-Return

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has withdrawn 25 Certificates-of-Return issued to some candidates that won during the 2019 general elections, following court orders.

The Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Mr Festus Okoye, said this at a `Forum on Media Coverage of 2019 General Elections’ held in Enugu on Monday.

Okoye noted that 20 of the 25 certificates-of-return were withdrawn from All Progressive Congress (APC) members to other APC members; while two from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members were withdrawn and issued to other PDP members.

He said that the other three were withdrawn from APC and PDP; and given to other political parties.

“Before we left INEC national headquarters on Friday; the commission has withdrawn 25 certificates-of-return from the first owners to their new owners following court orders to do that,’’ he said.

Okoye, however, lauded the media for its openness and robust engagement with the commission before, during and after the election, adding that the media had become critical stakeholders for the success of future elections.

He noted that the media had become the first line of reach of the masses as well as platform for explanation of INEC political and electoral decisions.

Okoye, therefore, called on the media and its practitioners to dig deep into the Electoral Act to ensure that the import of the recent amended sections are made known to the public.

“The media should also centre on the aspect of using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve electoral issues especially at the party levels instead of going to the court,’’ he advised.

Speaking, President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Chris Isigozu, said that the media and its practitioners enjoyed a vast and robust relationship with INEC before, during and after the elections.

Isigozu said that INEC performed creditebly well given the resources and length of co-operation from other stakeholders involved in the electoral processes.
“However, we are here to evaluate the entire process and see where we can strengthen our engagement and better the electoral system.

“We would be open and say it as it; so that the electoral and democratic processes can be better even as we go into off season elections,’’ he said.

Enugu State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Emeka Ononamadu, noted that evaluation of processes of the elections would help better the electoral processes as well as strengthen institutions and stakeholders involved in the entire processes.

“INEC wants to hear from the media, security agencies, civil society organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations etc on how the election fared. Whether there are avenues to improve on what we have.

“So, INEC is open to receive your objective deliberations and its outcome and we definitely take a critical look at your outcomes in order to better the electoral processes,’’ Ononamadu assured.

Iwo monarch to FG: Give traditional rulers security votes if you want to end insecurity

Oba Adbulrasheed Akanbi, Oluwo of Iwoland in Osun state, has called on the federal government to make provision for security votes for the traditional institution to help fight insecurity in the country.

Akanbi, who spoke to journalists in Osogbo, the state capital on Monday, said the traditional rulers are closer to the grassroots and are privy to the intelligence needed to curb crimes in communities.

According to him, the police cannot effectively perform their duty of securing the people because the force is “underfunded and understaffed”, hence the need to collaborate with traditional rulers.

“Traditional rulers should be empowered to domesticate security at the grassroots which constitutes higher percent of the hideouts for kidnappers. Co-opting monarchs will unavoidably decimate security threat,” Akanbi said.

“But traditional institution should be given security vote to engage local hunters, vigilante, the Agbekoyas, trusted local Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), among others. In my own capacity, I am trying my utmost best in my domain but the institution I represent deserves security funding to act more.

“I have personally arrested a criminal in my domain and handed him over to the police. I know the nooks and crannies of my city. No criminal can survive with illegality here. I have instilled the fear in them and this has decimated atrocities in Iwo. I am ready to do more if empowered by engaging trusted local security details.

“The police saddled with this primary responsibility is underfunded and under staffed. Nigeria of over 200 million population is parading about 300,000 policemen. The police should be equipped with modern tools and should be paid good salaries and as well be assured of job security to motivate them for maximal performance.

“Government should provide surveillance helicopters to aid technical detective assignments by the police, most especially when searching kidnappers’ hideouts.”

Akanbi linked the high rate of crimes and banditry in the country to unemployment, saying the availability of jobs will cause a drastic reduction in social vices in the society.

“…The ultimate panacea is the implementation of robust youth based programs and empowerment for the Nigerian youth,” he said.

“The root of every security threat is unemployment. Addressing this will halt the menace of criminality and clean our country of social vices.

“Strict punishment should be enacted and upheld by agencies of government. The fear of legal reprisal can equally discourage some perpetrators.”

Pastor ask court to dissolve marriage over sex deprivation

Pastor Samson Farounbi has told an Idi-Ogungun Customary Court, Agodi, Ibadan, Oyo State that the small size of his penis made his estranged wife to deny him sex for a long period.

Farounbi disclosed this on Monday when testifying before the court on a case of divorce he instituted against Tope Farounbi.

He had requested the court to end the 19-year-old union on the grounds of unrest of mind, threat to life and lack of respect for his family.

Narrating his ordeal, the Pastor said his wife, who was a fruit seller, used to return home at late hours every day and refused to have sex with him.

”There was a day I challenged her why she always return late and denying me sex.

”She confessed that the small size of my penis was responsible for keeping late outside and for refusing to have sex with her.

”She suggested to buy local herb for the treatment of my micro penis which cost N5,000 but I priced it down to N4,000.

”I got myself treated with the ‘Agbo'(local herb) but she still felt reluctance to allow me have access to her body,” he narrated.

The pastor further alleged that the defendant maltreated his mother when she was living with him and that the ill-treatment forced his aged mother to relocate to Ilesha where she died few months later.

He told the court that Tope used to curse every member of his family and always cursed his blood brothers when they visited him.

”My lord, she is a devil, always fighting people especially females, that come to my church for prayer, accusing me of flirting with them.

”We have never stayed beyond two years in every house I rented since we married 19 years ago due to her stubbornness and troublesome character.

”The five children of our union lack home training and always cursing me whenever I tried to correct any of the kids for doing wrong things.

”In fact, our first child has ran away from home now and I cannot even locate his whereabouts.

”I urge the court to separate us so that I can have peace of mind to do my pastoral work,” he pleaded.

In her defence, Tope denied all the allegations but urged the court to dissolve the marriage as requested by the plaintiff.

She accused her husband of womanising, saying he never care for her welfare but was in the habit of drinking alcohol.

The President of the court, Chief Mukaila Balogun and the two court assessors, Chief Wahab Popoola and Chief Alao Ganiyu, in their unanimous decision dissolved the marriage.

Balogun said the court was handicapped to settle the dispute between the parties because the couple had agreed to end the marriage.

He ordered that three kids that are males including the first born that ran away should be in the custody of the plaintiff while the remaining two daughters should remain with the defendant.

He further directed the plaintiff to pay N8,000 monthly allowance for the upkeep of the two kids in the defendant custody.

He admonished the parties to refrain from fomenting trouble or disturb public peace.

Breaking: Naira Marley remanded in prison for alleged internet fraud

Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday morning ordered that upcoming musician, Azeez Fashola, alias Naira Marley, be remanded in the prison custody.

The judge made the remand order shortly after the musician was arraigned before him on 11 counts, bordering on credit card fraud.

Naira Marley pleaded not guilty to the cyber fraud charges pressed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The trial judge adjourned till May 30 to take the bail application filed by the defence counsel, Taiwo Oreagba, on behalf of his client.

Naira Marley surrounded by EFCC officials in court on Monday

I’ll not let Iran have nuclear weapons – Trump

 

Hours after threatening the “official end” of Iran if it starts a war with the United States, Donald Trump kept up his uncompromising rhetoric, vowing not to let Iran develop nuclear weapons.

“I don’t want to fight. But you do have situations like Iran, you can’t let them have nuclear weapons, you just can’t let that happen,” Mr Trump said in an interview with Fox News late on Sunday.

Before becoming US president, Mr Trump was a vocal critic of both the Iraq war and the Libya intervention. Last year, he pulled the US out of a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran, an agreement that was designed to temporarily curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

On Sunday, he said that “with all of everything that’s going on, and I’m not one that believes, you know, I’m not somebody that wants to go into war, because war hurts economies, war kills people most importantly, by far the most importantly”.

Mr Trump again took credit for ending the nuclear deal that his predecessor Barack Obama signed in 2015 and indicated that the strategy of isolation and sanctions is working by devastating the Iranian economy.

“I had no idea it was going to be as strong as it was … the country is devastated from the standpoint of the economy,” he said.

The US wants Iran to come to the table, and according to CNN, the White House has passed a phone number via Switzerland to Tehran. That call has not been placed yet.

There are growing concerns in Washington that if Iran backs away from its commitments under the nuclear deal in July, it could increase enrichment levels – capped under the 2015 agreement, officially called the JCPOA – to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Before his interview was aired, Mr Trump threatened Tehran that if it “wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran”.

“Never threaten the United States again!” he said.

The escalation in rhetoric comes as a rocket landed near the US embassy in Baghdad on Sunday, four days after Washington ordered the withdrawal of all non-essential staff from Iraq because of fears of attacks by Iranian proxies.

It also coincides with mounting tension in the Gulf of Oman with two US warships arriving in the region. Last week, two attacks, one sabotaging tankers at sea near the UAE and one against Saudi oil pumping stations near Riyadh, occurred within 48 hours of each other.

Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of ordering the drone attack through the Houthis, while the UAE is conducting an investigation into what happened off its coast.

Gulf states have also increased maritime patrols to deter Iran.

Billionaire Smith stuns Morehouse College graduates, to pay off their loans

An African-American billionaire technology investor, Robert F.Smith stunned the entire graduating class at Morehouse College in Atlanta when he pledged to pay off their student loans.

The Associated Press estimated the loans to be up to $40 million.

Smith, this year’s commencement speaker, made the announcement while addressing nearly 400 graduating seniors of the all-male historically black college.

On Twitter, he encapsulated the reasoning for his gesture: “More than the money we make, the awards, or recognition, or titles we earn, each of us will be measured by how much we contribute to the success of the people around us,” he wrote.

Smith is the Founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm that invests in software, data, and technology-driven companies.

Robert F. Smith (left) laughs with David Thomas (c) and Angela Bassett, an actress at the Morehouse College graduation on Sunday. Photo courtesy AP

“On behalf of the eight generations of my family that have been in this country, we’re gonna put a little fuel in your bus,” the investor and philanthropist told graduates in his morning address. “This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.”

The announcement immediately drew stunned looks from faculty and students alike. Then the graduates broke into the biggest cheers of the morning and stood up, applauding. Morehouse said it is the single largest gift to the college.

“More than the money we make, the awards, or recognition, or titles we earn, each of us will be measured by how much we contribute to the success of the people around us,” he wrote.

Though college officials could not provide an estimate of the exact amount owed by the current graduating class, students graduate with an average debt of $30,000 to $40,000, said Terrance L. Dixon, vice president of enrolment management.

Smith, who received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse during the ceremony, had already announced a $1.5 million gift to the school.

Smith said he expected the recipients to “pay it forward” and said he hoped that “every class has the same opportunity going forward.”

“Because we are enough to take care of our own community,” Smith said. “We are enough to ensure that we have all the opportunities of the American dream. And we will show it to each other through our actions and through our words and through our deeds.”

In the weeks before graduating from Morehouse on Sunday, 22-year-old finance major Aaron Mitchom drew up a spreadsheet to calculate how long it would take him to pay back his $200,000 in student loans — 25 years at half his monthly salary, per his calculations.

In an instant, that number vanished. Mitchom, sitting in the crowd, wept.

“I can delete that spreadsheet,” he said in an interview after the commencement. “I don’t have to live off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I was shocked. My heart dropped. We all cried. In the moment it was like a burden had been taken off.”

His mother, Tina Mitchom, was also shocked. Eight family members, including Mitchom’s 76-year-old grandmother, took turns over four years co-signing on the loans that got him across the finish line.

“It takes a village,” she said. “It now means he can start paying it forward and start closing this gap a lot sooner, giving back to the college and thinking about a succession plan” for his younger siblings.

Morehouse College president David A. Thomas said the gift would have a profound effect on the students’ futures.

“Many of my students are interested in going into teaching, for example, but leave with an amount of student debt that makes that untenable,” Thomas said in an interview. “In some ways, it was a liberation gift for these young men that just opened up their choices.”

Google cuts ties with Huawei

US internet giant Google, whose Android mobile operating system powers most of the world’s smartphones, said Sunday it was beginning to cut ties with China’s Huawei, which Washington considers a national security threat.

In the midst of a trade war with Beijing, President Donald Trump has barred US companies from engaging in telecommunications trade with foreign companies said to threaten American national security.

The measure targets Huawei, a Chinese telecoms giant in Washington’s sights that is listed by the Commerce Department among firms with which American companies can only engage in trade after obtaining the green light from the authorities.

The ban includes technology sharing.

“We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” a Google spokesperson told AFP.

The move could have dramatic implications since Google, like all tech companies, must collaborate with smartphone makers to ensure its systems are compatible with their devices.

Google will have to halt business activities with Huawei that involve transfer of hardware, software and technical services that are not publicly available — meaning Huawei will only be able to use the open source version of Android, a source close to the matter told AFP.

Huawei will no longer have access to Google’s proprietary apps and services, such as the Gmail email service.

Huawei did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Huawei is a rapidly expanding leader in 5G technology but remains dependent on foreign suppliers.

It buys about $67 billion worth of components each year, including about $11 billion from US suppliers, according to The Nikkei business daily.

Huawei is the target of an intense campaign by Washington, which has been trying to persuade allies not to allow China a role in building next-generation 5G mobile networks.

US government agencies are already banned from buying equipment from Huawei.

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said Saturday that “We have not done anything which violates the law,” adding the US measures would have a limited impact.

Dozie, Odili, Dasuki… the billionaires who own MTN Nigeria

After going public on Thursday, MTN Nigeria has brought itself under the scrutiny of the investing public; all its progress and otherwise will now be subject to the corporate governance laws of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The identities of some shareholders, who now own billions in the second biggest company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange have now emerged.

While the MTN Nigeria is still controlled by MTN Group, the parent country, some notable Nigerians hold billions in the telecommunications company.

HERE’S A FULL LIST OF THOSE WHO OWN MTN NIGERIA AS AT MAY 17, 2019:

SHAREHOLDER VALUE IN NAIRA PERCENTAGE HOLD
MTN International Limited 1.68 trillion 76.08
Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Limited 213.7 billion 9.64
Mobile Telephone Network 60.95 billion 2.75
Government Employees Pension Fund 38.69 billion 1.75
Victor Odili 87.87 billion 3.96
Pascal Dozie 37.07 billion 1.67
Sani Mohammed Bello 28.87 billion 1.30
Babatunde Folawiyo 23.83 billion 1.08
Gbenga Oyebode 19.80 billion 0.89
Ahmed Dasuki 19.35 billion 0.87
Karl Olutokun Toriola 100.10 million 0.005
Total 2.22 trillion 100

As expected for a money minting enterprise being the largest telecoms network in Nigeria, MTN shares are being snapped up.by investors.

Listed at N90 per share, the price has gained 21 percent in just two days trading.

PDP governors reject el-Rufai in two-man race for NGF chairman

Ahead of the election of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) chairman, there are indications that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors prefer their Ekiti State colleague, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai.

The seventh NGF poll will hold on Wednesday in Abuja.

El-Rufai may back out of the contest following talks among All Progressives Congress (APC) governors.

NGF has produced six chairmen in the last 20 years of the nation’s democracy. They are: Alh. Abdullahi Adamu, (Nasarawa, 1999 – 2004), Arc. (Obong) Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom State, 2004 -2006), Chief Lucky Igbinedion (Edo, 2006 – 2007), Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki (Kwara, 2007- 2011), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers, 2011 -2015) and Abdulaziz Yari (2015-2019).

The Southwest, the Northeast and the Southeast have not chaired the NGF.

Most PDP governors are said to be uncomfortable with El-Rufai because of his derision of the opposition and hardline on some national issues, especially from the religious perspective.

El-Rufai is seen by some PDP governors as one of the architects of the defeat of the opposition party in the last general elections.

The governors will attend their last National Economic Council (NEC) meeting on Wednesday. They will use the opportunity to elect a new chairman.

A PDP governor said: “We have decided not to support El-Rufai as the next chairman of the NGF because his temperament is not good enough for this office. He is a courageous, brilliant and smart individual but if he leads NGF, his caustic comments can create discontent among us.

“Also, he has a headmaster instinct, which does not fit into a forum where we are all colleagues. Since Fayemi has indicated interest, we prefer him as a moderate.”

Another PDP governor said: “The Kaduna governor does not care a hoot about PDP, a party which provided him the opportunity to climb up leadership positions. He has derided us during the campaign; we will pay him back in his own coin.

”The outgoing NGF chairman, Abdulaziz Yari, has set a template of dialoguing with the Presidency for interventions, including the latest N649.43billion and we need another governor who can continue.

“We don’t want any NGF chairman who will use the forum as a platform for 2023 general elections. We respect el-Rufai, but we won’t give him this opportunity.”

As at press time, there were indications that el-Rufai might back out of the race because of the ongoing talks among APC governors.

An outgoing APC governor said: “We want to go into the NGF election united, unlike the case in 2011 when we had a split among ourselves. The APC governors are already building consensus too around Fayemi.

“The ongoing talks may lead to the withdrawal of el-Rufai from the race, more so a governor from Northwest has just ended his tenure as NGF chairman. Equity demands that the office should be conceded to another geopolitical zone.

“I think the candidature of Fayemi is more acceptable to both APC and PDP caucuses. He is also a ranking governor in our midst.”

Alleged Islamisation: Lamido warns Obasanjo against turning into bigot

A former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido has warned ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo against turning himself into a bigot. He said Obasanjo’s comments at a church on alleged Fulanisation and Islamisation of Nigeria were intolerable.

Lamido advised Obasanjo to retain his national outlook instead of fanning the embers of religious divide.

But a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode said Obasanjo was only being courageous in telling the truth.

Lamido expressed his views in a statement by his New Media aide, Masur Ahmed.

The statement said: “Speaking about ‘Fulanisation and Islamisation at St. Paul Cathedral Church’ is very much unlike you, sir!

“If it were said at a non-religious venue to a non-religious audience, may be it might have been more tolerable.

“Please, sir, don’t let your disappointment with sitting Presidents turn you into a bigot. You must not abandon the national stage.

“The cracks along the various divides in our national cohesion are already turning into huge ‘gorges’”

In a counter-statement, Fani-Kayode said Obasanjo was just being courageous.

He said the former President had done more for the core North, Lamido’s Fulani tribe, and Nigeria’s unity than any other ex-President or Head of State in the nation’s history. The former minister said posterity would be kind to Obasanjo for speaking the bitter truth.

Fani-Kayode said: “I hear one or two people like Sule Lamido are not too happy with what Obasanjo said and have called him (names) out for saying it. That is sad and unfortunate because Obasanjo has done more for the core North, Lamido’s Fulani tribe, and Nigerian unity, than any other former President or Head of State in our history.

“He also fought in a civil war to keep the country together. For anybody from the core North to call him names for speaking the truth and baring his mind over what is unfolding in Nigeria today tells you how blinded by power, insensitive and callous some of these people are.

“It is only those that subscribe to the Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda that will criticise or oppose Obasanjo’s observation and describe him as ‘a bigot’ for making them.

“What Obasanjo said was timely and necessary and millions are commending him for it. He spoke the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

The former minister alleged that Nigeria was driven to this stage because the world refused to listen to early warnings.

He added: “President Obasanjo remains the only politically active southern and Middle Belt leader that understands what is really going on, the grave danger that we are in and what lies ahead. He is deeply courageous and his latest contribution that there is an agenda to Fulanise West Africa and Islamise Africa says it all.

“Obasanjo needs say no more. History and posterity will be kind to him for speaking the bitter truth and saying what almost every other southern and Middle Belt politician and leader knows to be true but is too timid and too scared to say publicly.

“With his latest contribution, he has vindicated yours truly and many others. I saw this coming in late 2013 and I told the world. Nnamdi Kanu saw it coming in 2014 and he told the world. Asari Dokubo saw it in 2015 and he told the world.

“Afenifere, OPC, YOLICOM, PANDEM, MEND, the Middle Belt Forum, the Niger Delta Avengers, IPOB, MASSOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo saw it in 2017 and they told the world. The Christian Elders Forum, CAN and the Church saw it in 2018 and they told the world.

“Sadly, the world refused to listen, left us on our own and, instead of rising to the occasion and confronting the evil, Nigerians went on bended knee to the powers that be and acted as if they were not saddled with a major problem that was bound to eventually consume them all. Now, they know better, even though most of them are still in denial.

“Now, they must live with the consequences of their indifference, ignorance, cowardice and stoicism. What a pity!”

How gunmen killed Igbinedion varsity lecturer – Police

Edo Commissioner of Police, Mohammed DanMallam, on Sunday confirmed the killing of a lecturer with the Igbinedion University, Okada, near Benin, by suspected kidnappers.

DanMallam said the lecturer, Kelvin Izevbekhai, was killed in an attempted escape bid when the victims were being marched into the forest by the kidnappers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the gunmen were said to be operating near Okada junction along the Benin-Lagos highway.

It was learnt that the gunmen abducted Izevbekhai and other passengers in the bus they were travelling in.

“The driver of the minibus was said to have fled into the bush along with four other passengers.

“Unfortunately, one of the passengers who tried to escape during the abduction was killed by the gunmen. The police went after the kidnappers in the bush and succeeded in rescuing the victims.”

He said the police were working on a new strategy which entails taking the war to the kidnappers’ den in the jungle, adding that it is the best way to tackle the scourge.

Spokesman for the university, Jide Ilugbo, who confirmed the killing described it as “barbaric.”

İlugbo said late Izevbekhai was a First Class graduate and was employed in the university in 2016.

He said it was now dangerous to travel on the Benin-Lagos highway due to frequent attacks by armed robbers and kidnappers.

The official said it was unfortunate he ran into hoodlums, saying that the trailer parked before Okada junction is a hideout for criminals.

Police arrest school gardener over alleged murder of SS3 student

The Lagos State police command says a gardener in a secondary school has been arrested over an alleged murder of a Senior Secondary school student.

The Command’s spokesman, DSP Bala Elkana confirmed the arrest in a statement on Sunday.

According to Elkana, on May 16, at about 2.40pm, Iponri Police Station received a complaint from Jubril Martins Memorial Grammar School Iponri.

The complaint said that on May 15, at about 4.40pm, a gardener with the said School engaged a 16-year-old SSS 3 student in a fight along Oke-Olu Road Iponri.

He said that in the process, the student fell down and became unconscious and was rushed to Smith Medical Hospital where he later died.

“Eye witness accounts show that the deceased person was returning home with his friends after writing WAEC and the suspect blocked him on the way and pulled him down, on the accusation that the deceased student had insulted him before.

“Homicide detectives from State Criminal Investigation Department Yaba, have visited the crime scene, corpse of the deceased is deposited at the mortuary for autopsy,” he said.

According to him, the suspect has been arrested and will be charged to court for murder.