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Tottenham sack manager after five years in charge

Tottenham have sacked manager Mauricio Pochettino after five years in charge of the Premier League club.

Spurs have made a disappointing start to the current campaign and are 14th in the Premier League.

BBC sports editor Dan Roan believes Jose Mourinho is a strong contender to replace the 47-year-old.

“We were extremely reluctant to make this change. It is not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste,” said Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

“Regrettably domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing.

“It falls on the board to make the difficult decisions – this one made more so given the many memorable moments we have had with Mauricio and his coaching staff – but we do so in the club’s best interests.”

Pochettino was appointed in May 2014 and led the club to the Champions League final last season, where they lost to Liverpool in Madrid.

Reaction to Pochettino’s sacking
The Argentine’s assistant Jesus Perez, and coaches Miguel d’Agostino and Antoni Jimenez have also left the club.

Tottenham said in a statement that they would provide an update on new coaching staff “in due course”.

Former Southampton boss Pochettino guided Tottenham to the League Cup final in his first full season while two third-placed finishes sandwiched a runners-up spot in the Premier League in 2017.

As well as leading Spurs to a runners-up finish in last season’s Champions League he also took them to fourth in the league.

He also had to contend with playing home games at Wembley for 18 months while the club’s new ground was built and his impressive results despite this led to links with Real Madrid and Manchester United.

However, Spurs have failed to build on the promise of recent seasons this term. As well as their disappointing league form, they were knocked out of the League Cup by League Two side Colchester and hammered 7-2 at home by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

“Mauricio and his coaching staff will always be part of our history,” added Levy.

“I have the utmost admiration for the manner in which he dealt with the difficult times away from a home ground whilst we built the new stadium and for the warmth and positivity he brought to us. I should like to thank him and his coaching staff for all they have contributed. They will always be welcome here.

“We have a talented squad. We need to re-energise and look to deliver a positive season for our supporters.”

Analysis – right decision, wrong time?

BBC Radio 5 Live’s football correspondent Ian Dennis:

There will be some supporters who are not surprised. They are without an away win in the league since January and they’re on their worst run since George Graham was in charge in 2000-01. That is shocking form.

But what is a surprise will be the timing – why was the decision not made at the start of the international break? That, for me, is the interesting aspect.

I have always been of the belief that with the quality in this Tottenham side they, under Pochettino, would get back to the top four.

I know there are Tottenham fans who think this is the right decision, and there are some who think it is not the right decision, but I think we can all agree that it is the timing that is a surprise.

Pochettino at Spurs – highs and lows
Pochettino was named Tottenham boss on 28 May, 2014 after taking Southampton to their best ever finish in the Premier League.
After a fifth-placed finish in his first season at the club, he led them to third in 2015-16 – their highest final position in the Premier League.
He became the first opposition manager to beat Pep Guardiola in England when Tottenham defeated Manchester City 2-0 in October 2016.
Spurs continued to progress, finishing second and third respectively in the next two seasons.
Led Tottenham to the last 16 of the Champions League in 2017-18 and was rewarded with a five-year contract in May 2018.
Lost FA Cup semi-final to Manchester United in April 2018 – Tottenham’s eighth successive defeat at that stage of the competition.

However, Spurs reached the Champions League final for the first time the following season after a memorable comeback against Ajax.
Lost 7-2 to Bayern Munich in the

group stage of this season’s Champions League.
Departed Spurs on 19 November 2019 after just three Premier League wins all season.
‘Should’ve backed him not sacked him’ – reaction

  1. BBC Sporr

Ene, emaciated lady dumped in Ajah is rehabilitated (New Photos)

The naked emaciated lady seen in Ajah is unrecognizable in new photos after being rehabilitated.

Remember the naked emaciated lady found in Ajah with rumours flying around that she was thrown out of a moving car? She has been rehabilitated and now looks healthy.

The woman, whose name has been given as Ene, was seen in October at Jubilee Bridge, Ajah. She had no clothes on and was so skinny, her bones were prominent.

Different people gave differing accounts of how she came to be found at the bridge.

As her story went viral, help came in the form of a kind Nigerian woman who rushed her to the hospital and got her medical treatment.

One month after, Ene is recovering and looks way better than she did only weeks ago.

Ex-banker, wife arraigned over N377m money laundering charges

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Tuesday arraigned a couple, Mrs. Ovuomarhoni Naomi Isidoro and Rowley Isioro before the Lagos State Special offences Court in Ikeja over allegations of laundering N377 million.

The couple were arraigned before Justice Mojisola Dada alongside their companies, Multaid Plus Limited and Global Investment Network on a seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit felony to wit money laundering, receiving fraudulently obtained property, transfer of criminal proceed to nominee and money laundering to the tune of $975,424.

The defendants allegedly received monies from an illegal activities carried out by a Nigerian based in the United States of America, Michael Uziewe (at large) with the aim of assisting him bring the proceeds made from his illegal activities into Nigeria.

The defendants were said to have used their companies with the corporate accounts domiciled in the bank where the second defendant, Rowley Isioro was an Assistant General Manager to launder the above mentioned amount for Michael Uziewe.

They both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

One of the charges reads: “That you Ovuomarhoni Naomi Isidoro, Rowley Isioro, Marhoni General Services Limited, Multaid Plus Limited, Michael Uziewe (at large) and Global Investment Network sometime in 2016, at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to launder money which represents proceeds of illegal activities of Michael Uziewe in the United States of America.”

Another charge reads: ” That you Ovuomarhoni Naomi Isidoro, Rowley Isioro, Marhoni General Services Limited, Multaid Plus Limited, Michael Uziewe (at large) and Global Investment Network sometime in 2017 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court laundered an aggregate sum of $975,424 on behalf of Michael O. Uziewe (at large) and Global Investment Network through your bank accounts in order to disguise the origin of the money which represents proceeds of illegal activities of Michael O. Uziewe in the United States of America.”

After their plea were taken, the EFCC counsel, Mohammed Bashir urged the court for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the couple in the correctional centre.

The defence counsel to the defendants, Sam Imoisini informed the court that applications for bail have been filed on behalf of his clients and that the applications were served on the prosecution this morning.

Bashir confirmed receiving a copy of the application but told the court that he needed time to respond to it.

Based on the development, Justice Dada adjourned the case till December 10, 2019 for hearing of bail application and remanded the couple at the Correctional Centre pending the determination of their bail applications.

Adeboye donates kidney dialysis machine to UCH

The University College Hospital, Ibadan marked its 62nd founder’s day on Tuesday, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye donated a dialysis machine worth N10m to help patients with kidney problems across the country.

Pastor Adeboye, who was accompanied by the top management of UCH led by the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof. Abiodun Otegbayo said the donation was necessary for view of the vital role that kidney plays in the life of to human being.

Unlike what operates nowadays, the prominent cleric said going overseas for treatment was not common during his childhood days.

He said, “people didn’t think of going abroad for their treatment when we were young, they believed once you come to UCH, they would be healed.”

Talking to kidney patients and the teaching hospital, Pastor Adeboye said, “I rejoice with you that we have already had one on ground and we will have another two by the end of this year. I promised to do more because kidney is vital to human existence looking at the challenges people living with kidney problems are facing”.

Making allusion to the Holy Bible where a woman with the issue of blood ran to Jesus Christ for healing, he enjoined those with problems to Jesus.

“If human being can’t help us, then we can go to the all-sufficient God and we keep crying to him”.

The Chief Medical Director of UCH, Prof. Abiodun Otegbayo made a clarion call to well-meaning Nigerians to donate generously for the development of the hospital.

Otegbayo who took over from Prof Temitope Alonge stressed that funds remained the greatest challenge confronting the hospital.

Other challenges militating against the hospital, he noted, include payment of huge amount of money for the supply of electricity, buying diesel for generators, lack of adequate equipment, problem of water supply, training of staff and absence of good infrastructure among others.

“UCH is overwhelmed and overstretched because of the influx of patients with primary and secondary healthcare challenges which he said had been derailing UCH from its original focus which is tertiary healthcare.”

“I came in as the 8th Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital, Ibadan with the mantra of shared vision for excellence. The hospital has taken over the training of about 65 per cent of the medical personnel in Nigeria while we have worked towards strengthening the tripartite function on which the hospital stands which are training, research and service.

“We have channelled our energy toward getting those who would help get resources for the upliftment and upgrading our services and facilities.

Services are greatly improving in the hospital, while efforts at making our patients’ relation comfortable are obvious.”

“In the areas of training, we have sponsored several professionals to their annual conferences, workshops and seminars because I believe so much in manpower development and I am unleashing my zeal to make it a reality in the hospital.”

“We have been able to raise a team of influential Nigerians to be on Board of Trustees that will help improve services and facilities in the hospital, and yet we must meet the yearnings of our teeming patients,” he said

FG honours honest Lagos airport toilet cleaner

Remember her, Miss Josephine Ugwu, the cleaner who saw the sum of $12,200,000 in a toilet at Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos and submitted it to security officials in 2015, has been recognised and rewarded by the federal government.

Josephine was honoured at an event organised by Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Tuesday for her honesty and integrity in the discharge of her duties.

Ugwu was presented with the award at a two day summit on ‘Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector’ jointly organized by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and ICPC in Abuja.

It would be recalled that in 2015, Ugwu while carrying out her duties as a cleaner with Patovilki Industrial Planners Limited, a concessionaire of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), saw the sum of $12,200,000 in a toilet and submitted it to security officials.

Patovilki was responsible for the cleaning of MMIA terminal from departure level to the towers

The money was subsequently returned to the owner. She has also refunded other sums lost by several other passengers at different times.

Ugwu was subsequently employed by the Authority in recognition of her honesty and exemplary conducts, after a many pleadings.

The event climaxed with an hand shake to Ugwu from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.

She was also given a brand new apartment in Lagos for her act of honesty and integrity.

Speaking with africanbusinesstravel.com.ng after the awards, Josephine who was full of praises to the management of African Business Travel News (ABTN) and Patovilki Limited for their support at making her deeds known to the public leading to the awards and recognitions she has received so far and promised uphold the tenets of honesty and integrity in her lifetime.

Be mindful of the CSOs you accredit to monitor elections, Yahaya Bello tells INEC

Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to be mindful of the civil society organisation accredited to monitor elections.

Some of the CSOs which monitored Saturday’s governorship and senatorial rerun elections had raised the alarm over irregularities, citing instances.

But speaking in an interview on Channels Television, Bello said the organisations that rated the elections poorly because of violence did not visit enough places or interview many people before reaching such conclusion.

He said the process was free, fair and credible, accusing some CSOs of bias.

“The conduct of the election was quite very credible. A level playing field was provided and it was free and fair. Of course, in any election, there is bound to be one issue or the other and you can’t really take pockets of issues to judge the general conduct of the election,” Bello said.

“Regarding the comments of the civil society organisations, well, they are entitled to their own opinion but let us know the parameters with which they are judging this particular election. How many polling units did they visit out of over 2,548 polling units, 239 wards and 21 local governments… how many people did they reach out to. There were over 600,000 votes cast. Did they interview all the voters?

“So, I wouldn’t stop them from making their opinion but the only advice for the umpire which is INEC is that when next they are selecting those who are supposed to observe and monitor this kind of important exercise, I think they should look into the credibility of some of those people and their antecedents and background.

“I am not denying the fact that there was pockets of violence, especially in Dekina, but I am asking this question that out of 21 local governments, 239 wards and 248 polling units, how many recorded violence? How many of the voters were interviewed before using the violence in Dekina local government to judge the credibility of the entire process. I think INEC needs to be given credit.”

Commenting on the payment of salaries in Kogi, Bello said there is no truth to the claim that the state is owing its workers.

He said he has cleared salary backlog, adding that what is left unpaid is the debt he inherited from previous administrations.

“On the issue of salaries, you see, all this while, I decide to keep quiet over all these lies that were peddled in the media about salary being owed or salary not being owed,” he said.

“Let me tell you, former Governor Audu left salaries unpaid, Governor Ibrahim Iris left salaries unpaid, my immediate predecessor left salaries unpaid up to the excess of 5 months… I came on board inheriting all these liabilities and I strove to solve it.

“As I speak to you today, Kogi state is not owing any dime, especially at state level. What is left is the 10 percent of the previous administration’s liabilities and we will be clearing them month by month.”

I’m disappointed Philip Shaibu betrayed me, says Oshiomhole

The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has accused Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu of betraying him despite backing him (Shaibu) to attain high political office.

He said he was disappointed by the ‘betrayal’ of Shaibu, who he called his son, but promised to continue to toe the path of peace over the party’s crisis in Edo State.

But, Shaibu denied betraying Oshiomhole, saying the chairman has become irrelevant in Edo politics..
Oshiomhole wondered why Shaibu and some other persons from his local government could betray him despite helping them to grow politically.

Last week, the party’s crisis deepened as Oshiomhole, Shaibu, Governor Godwin Obaseki and others were suspended by the two warring factions.

Addressing some party supporters visited him at his Iyamho residence, Oshiomhole urged the people to remain peaceful and avoid being used for the wrong reasons because of money.

According to him, “It is about the truth, we have a president that believes in the truth, that believes in fairness, that believes in justice, that believes that government should fight for the poor.

“There is nothing I have done in life that I didn’t have to fight for, but as you can see by the special grace of God there is no fight that I was forced into that I have not prevailed because I do not go out of my way to look for trouble. I actually do my best to make peace but if it fails, God will give the enablement to stand on our feet and defend the truth.

“The only thing I will say today to anyone who is here who is an agent of my son. When I talk of my son, I am talking of Philip Shiabu who now thinks that his own political future requires that he attacks me and import thugs to disgrace me in my village.

“The Hausas have a saying that when people are possessed and they do things like that, just say God take control. Supposing I was dead after 2016 and somebody tells me that my son Philip will organise people to attack my house or to attack my village to disrupt the convocation maybe my body will be turning in heaven and I will not believe it.

‘’But the fact that I am alive to see someone who did not win his own booth because his own people in his own village in his own community of Jattu did not want him because they apparently know him better than me but I stood by him. I stood for him not on false stand and he became deputy governor. If all that transpired now is to use that power to humiliate me but God forbid… as you can see, who can fight the battle, it is only God so I leave the burden of guilt to them.

‘’I will not repay evil with evil. I will stand on the path of peace. I will stand on the path of unity. I will stand on the path of justice because I know that God in heaven will never allow the evildoer to prevail. I am very happy that God has given me good health and that I can see some people who fought me in 2007 and God gave me victory and from victory I made them commissioners.

“I gave them jobs. I assisted them whenever they were in need… I am alive to see them because of a small pot of pepper soup signing signatures to say Oshiomhole should not be.

‘’Some of them called me privately and said they were given contracts some about N10 million and they say if I don’t sign they won’t pay my money and I say okay may the N10m make you a millionaire. Some say I have been given a job and they say if I don’t abuse you they will sack me and I asked is it not God that protects? I don’t want to be remembered for using my office to harass anybody. I have left government for three years now but you people are here now on your own. You are not millionaires in your pockets, you are billionaires in your minds.”

A’Ibom Assembly slams Emmanuel over poor quality roads

 

The Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly Tuesday slammed Governor Udom Emmanuel over what it described as poor quality of roads across the state.

The Assembly bluntly told the governor that roads constructed by his administration will not stand the test of time despite huge funds allocated for the construction of roads in the yearly budget.

Members of the relevant committee in-charge of the matter led by Mr. Mark Esset, Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, revealed that “we have gone out on inspection across the 31 Local Governments, but sadly, most roads constructed by the government are in deep deplorable condition”.

Esset said it was rather unfortunate that most of the roads constructed by the present administration were wearing off even before the expiration of Emmanuel’s tenure in office.

The committee confronted the Commissioner for Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-eyen, when he appeared before the House’s panel to defend the budget for his Ministry as captured in the 2020 budget.

‘I have taken a case of nine Local Government Areas. So far, out of the 57 constructed by this administration, about 97 have failed according to statistics. Maybe, they were made to be trunk ‘A’ road but now turned to be trunk ‘C’.

Mark Esset, Chairman of the Local Government Committee, lamented that the state government was in the habit of hiring inexperienced contractors to fix Local Government roads.

He said: “You bring inexperienced construction companies to construct Nsit Atai roads. And the roads, instead of improving are getting worse. This is unacceptable; tell those construction companies to leave Nsit Atai roads.

“Whatever we are putting on the ground should not only last between 2015 and 2023, it should be beyond the lifespan of this administration; it should stand the test of time because in Akwa Ibom we should not only plan for today, we should plan for the future”.

Read Also; I’m disappointed Shaibu betrayed me, says Oshiomhole
In the same vein, Mr. Victor Ekwere, member representing Mkpat Enin state constituency disclosed that; “The Awa-Ukam road was commissioned barely two months on May 29, 2019, but it is now a total mess. I have been receiving calls and I have gone to check the road myself; indeed, it is a real mess.

However, the Works Commissioner blamed the poor condition of the Awa-Ukam road to emergency measures adopted in fixing the road during the recent of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, adding that the problem emanated out of what he described as “intermitted construction of the road”.

He added that the contractor could not effectively fix the road because of the consistent rainfall that has impeded work on government road projects in the state, even as he blamed some desperate contractors for collecting funds without executing projects.

“Government will not lose money on that road. No contractor will leave this state with Akwa Ibom money,” he vowed.

Court orders IGP to release details of 80,115 ghost police officers

The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, to release the details of the 80,115 ghost officers said to have been discovered in the police formations and command in 2018.

Justice Binta Nyako, in a judgment, ordered the IGP to release the information to a civil society organisation, Centre for Social Justice, which earlier applied for it but was denied access by police authorities.

The judge, therefore, ordered the police helmsman to immediately release to the group, information, including the names and contact addresses of the “ghost officers” and their ranks.

The judge also ordered the IGP to release the bank account numbers, bank verification numbers, monthly salaries and emoluments and the total money paid to each one of them.

The court also ordered the IGP to pay to CSJ, the sum of N500,000 as damages for earlier denying the group access to the information.

Our correspondent on Tuesday saw a copy of the enrolled orders, containing the summary of the judgment of the court delivered on October 22, 2019.

The Lead Director of CSJ, Mr. Eze Onyekpere, recalled in a statement on Tuesday that his organisation sent a Freedom of Information request to the IGP on April 3, 2018, requesting information on the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers.

He noted that the then Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, had disclosed the information about the existence of the ghost workers in her presentation on the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System to the Federal Executive Council on March 21, 2018.

The IGP was said to have failed to release the information and give reasons for its inability to grant the request to CSJ.

The development forced the organisation to, through its lawyer, Mr. Kingsley Nnajiaka, file the suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/493/2018, praying for an order compelling the IGP to release the information to it.

The IGP refused to file any defence in the suit.

In her judgment delivered on October 22, 2019, the judge held among others, that, “denying the applicant access to the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the police formations and command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System without explanation constitutes an infringement of the applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.”

The judge also made an order of mandamus compelling the IGP to “grant access to the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the police formations and command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System”.

“It also ordered the respondent “to pay to the applicant the sum of N 500, 000 as damages for denying the Applicant access to information.”

Senate disowns hate speech bill, sponsor gets threat messages

 

Worried by the spate of criticisms that has greeted the Hate Speech Bill which passed first reading last week, the Senate has distanced itself from the proposed legislation

The acting spokesperson for the red chamber, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, told journalists in Abuja on Monday that contrary to widespread impression, the bill was not the idea of the 9th Senate.

He said it was solely being sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, based on his conviction.

Akwashiki described as unfortunate the statement credited to the Peoples Democratic Party, which insinuated that the bill was a Senate bill, either to islamise Nigeria or skewed to make the alleged third term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari, a reality

He maintained that the fate of the bill would be determined on the floor of the Senate after a robust debate by senators.

Akwashiki said, “There is a statement credited to the spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party saying that the hate speech bill before us is a collaboration between the Senate and President Muhammadu Buhari to islamise the country or make things happen the way he (Buhari) wants it.

“It (the statement) also claims that he (Buhari) is trying to bring the hate speech to enable him to achieve a third term. I’m happy that the sponsor of the bill is here. He has cleared the air.

“It is the right of a senator to sponsor a private member bill. We also have the executive bill but the hate speech bill before the Senate today is a private senator bill. Mr President has nothing to do with it and it also has nothing to do with third term agenda.

“It is not also aimed at islamise Nigeria. When the bill gets to second reading, senators would have the opportunity to speak. They would scrutinise it and remove whatever they perceive offensive and insert those that are meant to protect the interest of Nigerians.

“I want to make it clear once again that the hate speech bill before the Senate is a private senator bill, not an executive bill.”

Meanwhile, the ex-spokesperson for the Senate who sponsored the bill, Senator Sabi insisted at a news briefing on Monday that his proposed legislation was aimed at achieving peace in the country.

He also denied being used by the executive arm of government to actualise or pave the way for the third term agenda of the President.

“The assumption by some people who think the bill is a ploy to give the current president a third term is laughable and it is a shame on those holding such views because I don’t see how that is related.

“If anything, I have seen studies conducted where the issues of violence were catalogued, particularly electoral violence and hate speech featured prominently as a major cause.

“This clearly shows that if we allow hate speech to fester, it means we won’t get good governance and it would also be difficult to fight corruption.”

He claimed that Nigeria was not the only country affected by the issue of hate speech, adding that there were more than 20 countries that have various laws directly targeting at hate speech.

“Giving the context and happenings within the country, it is time to check this monster that is known as hate speech,” he stated.

On the issue of death by hanging, Abdullahi said it was the judge that would determine the punishment.

He said, “As far as the issue of death by hanging is concerned, which the constitution in section 33 spelt out, it must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

“We are going to provide additional definition after the debate. Hate speech is when you deliberately incite somebody on the basis of making a statement targeting at getting violent reactions from certain religious or ethnic groups.

“Hate speech must be hateful which means something that is deep, spoken deliberately to make another person angry, or to debase the person or dehumanise him or her.

“I have listened to criticisms and condemnation of the bill; in all what they have said, one beautiful thing that came to my mind is the fact that we are all united against hate.

“We are all against all forms of discriminations and that everybody is concerned with the subject of death, nobody wants to see death being unleashed on anybody.

“I think that is very fundamental. I am happy we are having this conversation as a nation.

Abdullahi said, “Over the past 10 days since the bill was read, I have received all kinds of messages, including threats, but I am not bothered about that.”

 

Buhari seeks speedy passage of bill on special court for corruption cases

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the national assembly to fast-track the passage of the special crimes court bill.

The executive bill was submitted to the legislature in 2016 as part of Buhari’s anti-corruption policy.

Also in 2017, Walter Onnoghen, former chief justice of Nigeria, issued a directive to all heads of courts to create special courts to handle corruption cases.

Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja during the national summit on ‘Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service’ organised by the ICPC in collaboration with the office of the secretary to the government of the federation, the president asked the judiciary to support the creation of special crimes court.

He said the passage of the bill was a ‘‘specific priority’’ of the administration’s economic recovery & growth plan 2017-2020.

Buhari said corruption is the cause of many problems in the country, adding that, ‘‘it is a catalyst for poverty, insecurity, weak educational system, poor health facilities and services and many other ills of our society”.

“The fight against corruption is of course not only for government and anti-corruption agencies alone. All arms and tiers of government must develop and implement the anti-corruption measures,” he said.

“I invite the legislative and judicial arms of government to embrace and support the creation of special crimes court that Nigerians have been agitating to handle corruption cases.

‘‘This government is working hard to overcome such ills. Corruption generally and public sector corruption in particular, inhibits the ability of government to deliver infrastructure and basic services to the people.

“That is why I have reiterated on many occasions that corruption is an existential threat to Nigeria.

“Corruption is furthermore, a major threat to the attainment of the sustainable development goals and the socio-economic transformation we are all working hard to bring about in Nigeria.”

PHOTOS: The mansion, exotic cars seized from FBI-wanted Nigerian jailed for fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has sealed off the Kaduna residence of one Emmanuel Oluwatosin, declared wanted by the FBI.

Two Mercedes-Benz cars (Models C550e and C450) were found at Oluwatosin’s house located at 17/19 Seamans street, Maigero, Kaduna.

He was arraigned before the Sokoto state high court on Tuesday and prosecuted on one count charge bordering on internet fraud to the tune of $150, 000.

The judge sentenced him to two years in prison ordered seizure of his properties.

The EFCC said the convict’s journey to prison started on August 29, 2019 when he was arrested following intelligence by FBI on his involvement in internet scams.

Below are pictures of the cars and the house that were seized from him:

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Suspect (right) with EFCC officers

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EFCC: How inmate coordinated $1m scam from Kirikiri prison

Olusegun Aroke, an inmate of Kirikiri maximum prison in Lagos, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison over a $1 million scam he orchestrated from custody.

Aroke was serving a 24-year jail sentence for internet fraudster when he committed the act.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said he pulled the scam right from prison using a network of accomplices, some of them targets of fraud and money laundering investigation.

“The lid on his latest fraud exploits from the bowels of the Maximum Correctional Centre was blown following intelligence received by the EFCC,” the EFCC said in a statement.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the convict, against established standard practice, had access to internet and mobile phone in the Correctional Centre where he is supposed to be serving his jail term.

“Even more puzzling was the finding that Aroke got himself admitted to the Nigeria Police Hospital, Falomo, Lagos for an undisclosed ailment. And from the hospital, he would move out to lodge in hotels, meet with his wife and two children and attend other social functions.

“The circumstance of his admission into the hospital and those who aided his movement from the hospital to hotels and other social engagements, is already being investigated by the EFCC.

“For a felon supposedly serving a jail term, investigation revealed that the Aroke used a fictitious name, Akinwunmi Sorinmade, to open two accounts with First Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. He also bought a property at Fountain Spring Estate, Lekki Lagos in 2018 for N22million and a Lexus RX 350 2018 model registered in his wife’s name, Maria Jennifer Aroke.”

While at the prison, the convict was said to be in possession of his wife’s bank account token in prison, which he used to freely transfer funds.

The EFCC said Aroke was one of the two Malaysia-based Nigerian undergraduate fraudsters arrested by the commission in 2012 at Victoria Island.

“Further investigation revealed that, while his trial was ongoing in 2015, Aroke bought a four bedroom duplex at Plot 12, Deji Fadoju Street, Megamounds Estate Lekki County Homes , Lekki for N48million,” the commission said.

“When Aroke was arrested, a search conducted by EFCC operatives on his apartment led to the recovery of several items such as laptops, iPad, traveling documents, cheque books, flash drives, internet modem, and three exotic cars – a Mercedes Benz Jeep, One 4Matic Mercedes Benz Car and a Range Rover Sport SUV.

“He was eventually convicted by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos State High Court on two counts of obtaining money by false pretence, cheque cloning, wire transfer and forgery. He was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment on each of the two counts.”

 

Senate probes Gencos, Discos over unsteady power supply

The Senate has mandated its Committee on Power to investigate the activities of power generating and distribution companies with a view to unraveling the cause of unsteady power supply in Nigeria.

The investigating committee has four weeks to submit its report to the Senate for consideration.

The decision by the upper chamber to probe power generation, transmission and distribution in the country was reached sequel to a motion considered during plenary on Tuesday.

Sponsor of the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North) said Nigeria, with a population of 200 million and an annual growth rate of 2.6 percent per annum, is the seventh most populous nation on earth.

According to Utazi, the power generating or installed capacity of Nigeria in relation to its population and Gross Domestic Product cannot place the country to compete favourably in terms of development with other nations.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to find solutions to the power deficits faced by the country.

Citing Indonesia and Philippines as examples, the lawmaker noted that both countries with a population of 267 million and 107 million, respectively, have installed power capacity of 60,000 megawatts and generating capacity of 42,465 megawatts as well as installed capacity of 20,055 megawatts and generating capacity of 16,271 megawatts.

The lawmaker while expressing optimism that Nigeria can set a realisable target of generating capacity of 100,000 megawatts in the next ten years, said same can be achieved through a mix of energy sources such as natural gas, hydro, coal, wind and renewable energy.

He added that the various zones in the country are naturally positioned to take advantage of the various energy mix and renewables, particularly solar energy.

“The northern part of the country with vast expanse of land can tap into large solar farms while the southern parts of the country with significant reserves of natural gas and cola can generate power from same.

“Both the north and South have large water bodies that can still be dammed for hydro,” Utazi said.

The lawmaker further posited that Nigeria can improve on its transmission infrastructure by up-scaling its networks from the current 330kv and 132kv to 765kv super grid to enable big power plants to send power through such grid over long distances.

He added that beyond generation and transmission, Distribution Companies (DisCos) lack the financial and technical capacities required, thereby resulting in their inability to pay for power which Generation Companies (GenCos) deliver to the grid.

Underscoring the motive behind the privatization of the power sector in 2013, Utazi stressed that the objective in privatizing power distribution assets was not to achieve highest financial bids, but rather to get capable companies that can achieve the lowest Average Technical Commercial and Collection losses within five years.

In her contribution, Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Central) said the failure of the power sector was largely due to the refusal of the leadership of past governments to embrace new ideas.

According to her, “Government should embrace new ideas that would take Nigeria to the next level.”

Another lawmaker, Senator Jibrin Barau (APC, Kano North) said uninterrupted power supply remains a fundamental requirement needed in a modern economy.

The lawmaker, who bemoaned previous policies particularly under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, said the power problems of the country remain the same despite their introduction.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to engage all stakeholders in the power sector with a view to coming up with workable solutions to Nigeria’s power crisis.

“We need to bring experts together to look at the power sector as a whole in a bid to realising these targets. Our companies are now being moved to Ghana, this is because of power.

“The Committee on Power should get everybody together. Government cannot do it alone. Let’s bring everybody together so we can find a lasting solution to this problem,” Barau stressed.

Senator representing Cross River South, Gershom Bassey, said what Nigeria needs to resolve its power problem is to develop the country’s transmission infrastructure.

According to him, Nigeria’s transmission infrastructure currently lacks the capacity to withstand an increase to power generation.

The lawmaker however advised the Federal Government to build on existing policy frameworks inherited from past administrations.

Accordingly, the Senate urged the Federal Government to upgrade the transmission infrastructure of Nigeria’s power grid for a more efficient transmission of power.

While advocating for 100,000 megawatts installed capacity to match the size of Nigeria’s economy and population, the upper chamber urged the Federal Government to break-up the country’s power distribution companies into smaller, more manageable distribution companies for optimal performance.

 

Access Bank names Awosika as new chairman as Belo-Olusoga retires

PRESS RELEASE

The Board of Directors of Access Bank Plc (the Bank) is pleased to announce that its Chairman, Mrs. Mosun Belo-Olusoga will be retiring in January 2020.

This follows her completion of the maximum 12- year term limit allowed by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Code of Corporate Governance for Banks and Discount Houses. Mrs Belo-Olusoga became the Chairman of the Board in July 2015.

Mrs. Belo-Olusoga has confirmed that she has no disagreement with the Board and there are no issues relating to her retirement that need to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company or the regulatory authorities.
To lead the Board in the next phase of Bank’s transformation into becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World, the Board has in line with its robust leadership succession plan appointed Dr. (Mrs) Ajoritsedere Awosika, MFR as the Chairman of the Bank when Mrs Belo-Olusoga steps down on January 8, 2020.

Dr. Awosika joined the Board in April 2013 as an Independent Non-Executive Director and has been the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board Credit and Finance Committee and the Board Audit Committee respectively in addition to membership of other Board Committees.

She is an accomplished administrator with over three decades experience in public sector governance. She was at various times, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministries of Internal Affairs, Science & Technology and Power.

Dr. Awosika is a fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacy. She holds a Doctorate degree in Pharmaceutical Technology from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom.

She is the Chairman of Chams Plc and Josephine Consulting Limited and a Non-Executive Director of Capital Express Assurance Ltd.

The Board would like to express its appreciation to Mrs. Belo-Olusoga for her contributions to the Bank’s transformational growth and wishes Dr. (Mrs.) Awosika success in her new appointment.

SUNDAY EKWOCHI
COMPANY SECRETARY

Court restrains Nigerian banks from honouring National Identity smartcard produced by Mastercard

 

The Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, has ordered all Nigerian banks not to honour any Mastercard transaction that has the logo of the National Identity Card Management Commission (NIMC) on it, pending the determination of a design infringement suit filed by Chams Plc, and Chams Consortium against the Singaporean payment and financial technology company.

The trial judge, Justice Rilawanu Aikawa also ordered that the court order and other processes including the writ of summons, statement of claims, witness statement on oath, list of documents, and any other documents be served outside jurisdiction on Mastercard’s office at 152 Beach Road, 35-00, The Gateway East, Singapore.

The court made the order sequel to an ex-parte application filed by Chams Plc lawyer, Mr Kemi Pinheiro SAN asking the court for the restraining order. Joined as defendants with the Singaporean firm in the suit with number FHC/L/CS/1440/2019, are its Nigerian subsidiary Mastercard Services Sub-Sahara Ltd, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr Ajay Banga, Daniel Monehin, and Omokehinde Ojomuyide.

The court also listed the names of the banks on which the orders should be served.

In a 41 paragraph statement of claim filed before the court, the plaintiffs averred that sometime in 2006, they were invited by the Federal Government of Nigeria to bid for the Nigeria National Identity Card project. As a result of the invitation, the plaintiff went into research and originated a smart card technical design that could serve as a national identity card as well as a means of general financial payment and banking transaction. “The smartcard design is as a result of extensive financial, human, and intellectual investment in research and development and same has never been executed in any part of Africa”, the plaintiffs averred.

The national identity card although designed primarily as an ID card, also has other functions that include the incorporation of bank transaction functionality such as cash withdrawals, balance enquiries, PIN change, bill payments, account transfers, and airtime purchases. It also features biometric functionality with electronic payments, and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) travel card.

On May 25, 2007, NIMC on behalf of the Federal government announced the plaintiff (Chams Plc) as the preferred bidder for the concession. This was confirmed by a letter from NIMC on the same date.

The plaintiff further stated that due to the national significance, complexity, and enormity of the project, it was necessary for them to collaborate with other companies and service providers to provide support in other to achieve the multi-faceted design it created.

“The first and second defendants, as a result of their perceived competence in the financial and payment service space, approached the plaintiffs through the 5th and 6th defendants on the authority of the 4th defendant with an offer to provide the payment infrastructure for the card”, the plaintiffs further averred, pointing to several correspondences between both parties.

The plaintiffs further stated: “The concession was awarded to the plaintiffs based upon its unique and ingenuous design submitted to the third defendant and the federal government. The design was contained in the Lump Sum Contract of Works and Services for the Personalization of National Identity (Smart) cards and prototype documents submitted to the third defendant”.

The plaintiffs further pointed to several trainings and workshops they organized in conjunction with NIMC, between March and May, 2012, where stakeholders are sensitized on how the national identity card is programmed to work. Technical partners, including Masteracard were also in attendance and they played active roles.

“The plaintiffs in uttermost good faith provided and made available their developments, research, design, and concept for the Nigerian National Identity (smart) Card to MasterCard in the belief that the plaintiffs and Mastercard were partners on the project”, it further stated.

Things however took another twist when in May 8, 2013, Mastercard in a press release announced to the world that it was set to produce over 100 million copies of the National identity smart card, using the exact designs created by the plaintiffs. ”By the joint press release of the defendants, it was discovered that Mastercard, without recourse to the plaintiffs as the originators of the concept and design, unilaterally and without justifiable reason announced the publishing issuance, and distribution of the national identity smart cards based on the same concept and design created by the plaintiffs”, it was further averred.

The specimen allegedly released by Mastercard both in the press release, and on its global website, https://newsroom.mastercard.com “where they applauded themselves for having developed an e-ID (electronics ID) for the Nigerian citizenry which has exactly the same features as the concept and design of the plaintiffs”, it stated.

The defendants allegedly went on subsequently to produce the e-ID for NIMC with the exact prototype created by the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs further stated the technical details of the infringement on their designs.

Due to this infringement, the plaintiffs averred that its contract with NIMC was terminated. Although the termination was challenged in court, NIMC and the plaintiffs resolved the issues amicably.

However, the plaintiff claimed that on its design, NIMC had already awarded a contract with them to produce 50 million e-cards. “In order to fully implement the contract, the plaintiffs entered into several agreements with the first defendant to provide support to achieve the desired objective of the contract.

The plaintiffs further claimed to have lost reputation, and enormous amounts of money as a result of the action of the defendants. Part of the loss includes setting up of Chams limited that has capacity for processing and switching 100 million national identity cards; establishment of a card personalization plant in Abuja, Nigeria that has capacity to produce 1,750,000 cards per day; and acquisition of several technical partners.

The grouse of the Plaintiffs according to its court processes is that Mastercard has stolen and infringed upon its intellectual property in the design of the National Identitiy card. The plaintiffs therefore asked the court for the following reliefs:

A declaration that the plaintiffs as the originators and creators of the National Identity Smart Card design more particularly described in the statement of claim, are entitled to the exclusive and uninterrupted use of same without any interference by any other person;

A declaration that the act of the 1st, 2nd,4th , and 6th defendants in manufacturing, producing, or printing National Identity Smart Card with the design of the plaintiffs without consent of the plaintiffs, amounts to an infringement of the plaintiff’s intellectual property rights in the design;

An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th from manufacturing, designing, producing, and or printing, or authorizing the manufacturing, producting, designing and or printing of any National Identity Card with the logo ”NIMC” more particularly described in the statement of claim;

An order for the delivery -up, or destruction upon oath of all National Identity Smart Card produced by the 1st, 2nd,4th, and 6th defendants using the plaintiffs’ concept and design or other articles in the possession, custody, or control of the defendants;

An inquiry as to damages or at the plaintiff’s option, an account of profit, and order for payment of all sums due together with interest as aforesaid.

Justice Aikawa has adjourned till November 25, 2019 to hear the motion on notice.

Kylie Jenner to sell majority stake in cosmetics brand for $600m

 

Beauty products giant Coty announced Monday a deal to take a majority stake in Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics and skincare company, marrying Jenner’s celebrity prominence with Coty’s distribution and commercial prowess.

Under the transaction, Coty, whose brands include Hugo Boss and Burberry fragrances, will pay $500 million for a 51 per cent stake in Jenner’s company.

Jenner, the youngest daughter of Kris Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, has more than 270 million social media followers and rates as “one of the most influential voices among beauty consumers globally,” said a statement from both companies.

She launched the brand in 2015 with “Kylie Lip Kit” and has since added eyeliners, eye shadows, blushes and other items.

“I’m excited to partner with Coty to continue to reach even more fans of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin around the world,” Jenner said.

“This partnership will allow me and my team to stay focused on the creation and development of each product while building the brand into an international beauty powerhouse.”

Coty described the deal as part of its effort to become a “more focused and agile company” adding that its global capacities in research and development, manufacturing and distribution, as well as expertise in cosmetics, would enable Jenner’s products to thrive as “high growth, digitally native beauty brand.”

Coty Chief Executive Pierre Laubies said the deal “will leverage our core strengths around fragrances, cosmetics and skincare, allowing Kylie’s brands to reach their full potential.”

Shares of Coty rose 3.3 per cent to $12.31 in early trading.

‘UNN belongs to Jesus’ — students kick against conference on witchcraft

Some students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Enugu state, have kicked against an upcoming conference on witchcraft according to a report by The Cable.

The conference being organised by the B.I.C Ijomah Centre for Policy and Research in UNN, will hold between November 26 and November 27.

As the date draws nearer, members of the university community, including students and staff, who are opposed to the programme, have already started staging protests against it.

While some persons are organising online campaigns to register their displeasure over the conference others are circulating posters calling for its cancellation.

Aside social media campaigns, some persons have put together special prayers to “fire back” at what they described as “the work of the agents of darkness.”

Some of the posters littering around the school have inscriptions such as: “UNN belongs to Jesus”; “Witches and Wizard, No vacancy!” “Say no to the meeting of Witches and Wizard’, “We are a Christian community”; “Don’t pollute our environment”; “We plead the blood of Jesus over UNN, hence we reject all forms of witchcraft overtly or covertly”.

In an interview, Chidi Ugwu, a lecturer who is one of those planning the conference, said contrary to insinuations, the event has nothing to do with actual “witches and wizards.”

He said the conference is strictly an academic exercise and is being organised to interrogate what people associate with witchcraft.

“If you have heard that we are calling for a meeting of witches and wizards in UNN, that is not true,” he said over the phone on Monday.

“We want to interrogate the various things people think is witchcraft, the things people think are caused by witchcraft, the blames people give to witchcraft and the different practices in different parts of the world that are related to witchcraft.

“We will also look at the implications; the social implications of some of these beliefs that people have and the social manifestations of what people think when they say this is a witch or wizard.

“We are not calling a conference for people to die and go to the spirit world to know whether there are witches or not.”

The keynote speaker at the conference is David Ker, former vice-chancellor of Benue State University, while P. J. Ezeh and Damian Opata, two professors at the university, will present the leader paper.

AMCON takes possession of Demola Seriki’s properties over N1bn debt

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has taken over some properties belonging to Ademola Seriki, a former minister of state for defence, for debts totalling N1 billion.

TheCable understands that the affected properties include those located at No. 1a & 1b, Jalupon Close, Surulere, Lagos and another at No. 4, Djibouti Crescent, a high-brow area of Wuse 2, Abuja.

Chuka Austine Obiozor, a justice of the federal high court in Lagos, delivered the judgement that empowered AMCON to seize the properties in Lagos and Abuja.

AMCON said the non-performing loans of Seriki was sold to AMCON by the now-defunct Oceanic Bank and Skye Bank.

“The case between AMCON and Seriki, who was a former minister of state for defence as well as a former supervising minister for mines and steel development have been lingering for a while now,” Jude Nwauzor, AMCON’s head of corporate communications said.

“Ideally, AMCON does not in the first instance resort to the courts except when the obligor defiles all overtures from the corporation for a peaceful resolution of an obligation. But the case between AMCON vs Ademola Seriki eventually ended up in court because all efforts made by AMCON to have the issue resolved peacefully did not yield the desired result.

“Therefore, the corporation pursued justice in court and in compliance to the order of the court of competent jurisdiction, AMCON on Monday through Oak Partners, who works for the corporation as one of the asset management partners (AMPs) having also received protective orders from the court, took possession of the said properties belonging to the former minister.

“When all efforts to amicably resolve the loan was frustrated by the former minister and a prominent member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), the corporation was left with no other choice than to defer the matter to court. Having looked at the case over time, the court ordered AMCON to take over the assets of the APC chieftain.”

According to Nwauzor, AMCON carried out the court order on Monday.

Hate speech bill has nothing to do with third term agenda, says Senate spokesman

Godiya Akwashiki, acting spokesman of the senate, says the bill seeking to prohibit hate speech in the country has nothing to do with the “third term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari”.

There have been allegations that the bill is meant to pave way for an alleged third term of Buhari.

But speaking with reporters on Monday, Akwashiki said the president does not have anything to do with bill, adding that Nigerians do not have anything to be afraid of.

Sabi Abdullahi, deputy chief whip of the senate, is the sponsor of the bill.

“There is nothing for Nigerians to be afraid of in the hate speech bill. The bill was just read for the first time, it will go back for second reading and you and me have the opportunity to speak for or against the bill,” he said.

“It is the right of the senator to sponsor a bill tagged ‘private senator bill’ even if we have executive bill. But the hate speech bill before the senate is a private senator’s bill. Mr President has nothing to do with this issue.

“It has nothing to do with third term agenda. It has nothing to do with Islamising this country. Spokesmen of political parties should mind the way they speak. We should be peace lovers and peace keepers.”

Also speaking with journalists, the sponsor of the bill said he is not deterred from going ahead with bill despite death threats.

“I am not a coward. I am a full blown Nigerian. I have no reason to shy away from my responsibility,” Abdullahi said.

‘I have received all kinds of messages some even including threats but I am not bothered about that. In all of these, if I receive one commendation, it gladdens my heart and I did receive many commendations and one stood out and said there is so much hate in this country. We must check it.

“If you meet those who have lost their loved ones arising from religious or ethnicity intolerance, and the like, I don’t think they will be smiling with you when you tell them hate speech is nonsense or does not exist.

“They have felt, seen and are living as victims of hate speech. When laws are put in place and no offence is committed, those laws become redundant.”