Wednesday , 26 June 2019
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CAN President tasks Nigerians on productive, profitable living

Rev Samson Ayokunle, President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Monday urged Nigerians to live productive and profitable lives.

Ayokunle gave the charge at a service of songs for late Evangelist Helen Okoye at the All Christian Fellowship Mission (ACFM) Maitama, Abuja.

According to him, living a godly life impacts on the lives of others, irrespective of their creed and calling either as politicians, business people, civil servants; or even the unemployed citizen.

“According to the book of Acts, Chapter 13 Verse 36, when David had served God’s purpose in his generation, he fell asleep; Evangelist Helen Okoye has served her purpose on earth.

“Until you impact positively on the lives of others, you are living small,” he said.

Ayokunle said that late Okoye left a big vacuum not at home alone, but in the ministry and the entire country.

“We are sure that on the resurrection morning, we shall meet again to part no more,” he said.

A Former Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Jerry Gana, said that people like the evangelist should be celebrated nationally.

Gana said that God had been so gracious to Nigeria and gifted the country with talented people, and so all must strive to change the narrative that every Nigerian was a crook.

“People like late Evangelist Helen Okoye should be celebrated, but we do not celebrate, take care or take note of them.”

He stressed the need for elders to live a life that would impact positively on the younger generation.

According to him, values are much more important than chasing money, not for the moment, but for eternity.

He, however, prayed that the lives of the Nigerian youth would be filled with the kind of life late Evangelist Helen Okoye lived.

“A life of the holy spirit, love, joy, peace, Kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control,” he said.

Husband of the deceased, Rev. William Okoye, a former Aso Rock Chaplain, to two former Nigerian presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, said that from the human stand point, it is so painful losing a soul mate.

“As Christians, we take solace knowing that life does not end here on earth and we must live it with eternity in view,’’ Okoye said.

He said one of the greatest desires and passion of his beloved wife was doing everything that will bring honour and glory to God.

“I am pleased that we are able to praise and worship in this service of songs.

“One of the reasons for this service is to promote some of the values that she lived for so that everybody can be challenged to embrace these values.

“Because when we think of national transformation and national development, it is values that shape human progress, any nation that transformed like Singapore, their values made them what they are today,” he added.

Victor Okoye, Son of the late Evangelist and a NAN staff, described his mother as a prayer warrior, a giver, one who could fast from morning till night without getting weary.

Victor said his mother was beautiful, in and out; and had left a vacuum in their lives that could not be filled forever.

“Like the testimony of someone who was dying of cancer and called my Mother for help and prayers, unknown to her, my Mum was also dying of cancer.

“But she prayed for her and reached out to the woman, she pleaded with my Dad to also buy the drugs that she was taking for the woman.

“My Dad had to look for extra N300, 000 to buy the drugs for the woman; she survived, Mummy did not make it, but they both took the same drugs.

“She did store up treasures for herself in heaven, but left a legacy that will live on through her children and every life that she touched,” Victor said. (NAN)

“Up to her dying days she was giving, she left nothing in her bank account, she was preparing for a better life after death like the Bible says: “Store up treasures for yourself in heaven where caterpillars cannot destroy.

Court orders reopening of AIT, Raypower

A federal high court sitting in Abuja has  restrained  the National Broadcasting Commission from suspending the licences of  African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower.

Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, gave the order on Friday.

DAAR Communications, owners of AIT and Raypower, had on May 31, filed a suit to prevent sanctions from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

This followed some warning letters received from the regulatory agency on May 27.

In the suit filed through Mike Ozekhome, its counsel, DAAR Communications, owners of AIT and Raypower, sought an order “restraining the defendants from blocking, jamming, stopping  removing from air and/or interfering with the air waves of the plaintiff/applicant (Daar Plc) in any way and manner howsoever called from invading the premises of the plaintiff/applicant (Daar Plc) or closing down, viet armis, the said premises, its operations or broadcast services, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed along with this application.”

But on Thursday, NBC suspended the stations indefinitely, citing violation of its code.

In his ruling, Ekwo asked NBC and the stations to maintain the status quo as of May 31 when the suit was filed.

He also ordered the NBC and the ministry of information to appear on Thursday and show cause why the motion on notice challenging the commission should not be granted.

Newly-crowned world champion Andy Ruiz Jr will bank just £5million after producing one of the greatest heavyweight upsets in history against Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden.

The Mexican underdog knocked the Brit down four times, forcing a seventh-round stoppage. But it is Joshua who will earn the lions’ share of the fight purse.


JUST IN: PENGASSAN president is dead

 President, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, Francis Johnson, is dead.

Johnson, it was learnt, died in the wee hours of Friday.

The deceased, who became President of the union in 2014, was said to have passed on after an ailment.

The General Secretary of PENGASSAN , Okugbawa Lumumba, confirmed the development and said members of the union were on their way to pay a condolence visit to the family, adding that a statement would be issued later.

Ex-General demands probe of $2.1bn recovered from Abuja home



EFCC arrests Covenant University IT staff for stealing N180m

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has confirmed the arrest of a member of staff of the Information Technology department of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State,  for allegedly diverting N180m school fees belonging to the school.

The EFCC’s acting Head, Media and Publicity, Tony Orilade,  in a text message to  one of our correspondents  said, “I  can confirm that  a Covenant University staff has been  with us for some days now over an alleged case of stealing reported by the Chancellor of the school.”

The diversion of the money was said to have taken years before the university discovered his alleged fraud.

The Chancellor of the university and Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo, reportedly described the suspect’s lifestyle as “riotous”.

The suspect was said to have bought some flashy cars, which he allegedly kept in a mansion he bought with part of the stolen money at  Lekki, Lagos,  despite having a house in the school where he lives with his wife.

The Punch

Angry villagers block Osinbajo’s convoy in Abuja

Aggrieved protesters blocked the convoy of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo along Umaru Musa Yar’Adua expressway in Abuja on Tuesday morning.

The vice-president was heading to the airport when his convoy ran into a barricade at the Goza village axis of the road.

Residents of Gbagyi village had converged on the spot, which is the major road connecting the airport to the city, to protest the alleged invasion of their land by the military.

The security aides of the vice-president tried to appease the protesters but failed, forcing Osinbajo to alight from his car.

Some of the protesters hailed the vice-president as he approached them.

Osinbajo sued for calm, assuring the protesters that their grievances would be addressed.

Apparently convinced by his intervention, the people allowed his convoy to pass but denied access to other vehicles.

Below are some pictures from the scene:

Osinbajo in midst of the crowd

Security aides of the vice-president taking charge of the situation

Other vehicles affected by the barricade

The vice-president’s convoy leaving the spot

US court jails Nigerian nanny 15 years àfter force feeding baby to death


A nanny convicted of murder for force-feeding a baby milk was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Oluremi Adeleye, 73, was found guilty of child abuse and second-degree murder in February after a week-long trial in which Prince George’s County prosecutors argued that the nanny unscrewed the lid of a baby bottle and poured nearly eight ounces of milk down 8-month-old Enita Salubi’s throat.

“Please forgive me,” Adeleye said after she fell on her knees in court Friday. “I didn’t mean to kill your child.”

Adeleye, a native of Nigeria, testified in her own defense at her trial. She said she was “cup-feeding” the baby to ensure it didn’t go hungry, a custom in her home country. She and her attorneys said that she did not mean to hurt the child and that Enita’s death was a “tragic accident.” Adeleye had others testify in her defense, saying that cup-feeding — pouring liquid in one’s hand to feed children when they do not want to eat but need to be fed — was common in Nigeria.

“While I don’t find the defendant is an evil-intentioned baby slayer, I also don’t find her actions were accidental,” Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Karen Mason said before handing down the sentence.

The child had roused the nanny from a nap, and the girl essentially drowned in milk while in Adeleye’s care in Glenarden on Oct. 24, 2016, prosecutors said at trial. Video from the incident captured on a nanny camera shows the baby bouncing in a walker and patting Adeleye’s leg while the nanny is on the couch. Adeleye is then seen trying to give the child a bottle. After the child does not take the bottle, Adeleye removes the lid of the bottle and tips it to the baby’s face. The contents disappear in less than 30 seconds as the child squirms in Adeleye’s arms and then falls to the ground, the video shows.

Enita’s mother, Nikia Porter, said at the sentencing that she moved from the South Side of Chicago to escape gun violence that could have put her family in danger.

“I didn’t want to lose my child to a stray bullet,” Porter said, remembering her “silly” and “loving” baby. “I lost her to a formula.”

Adeleye, initially charged under her married name of Oluremi Oyindasola, opted for a bench trial, in which a judge weighed her fate instead of a jury. In finding Adeleye guilty of all the charges against her, Mason said Adeleye lied to homicide detectives in recorded interviews about whether she unscrewed the cap of the bottle to feed the child. The shifting story, Mason said, demonstrated a “consciousness of guilt.”

“She deserved to grow up,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy (D) said of the child, who would have turned 3 this year. “She deserved to have a life to fulfill her dreams.”

Porter said the death of Enita continues to haunt her family, including her two siblings, who were in the room when their younger sister was killed. They continue to ask where their sister is and when she is coming home.

“‘Oh, she’s in heaven?’” Porter said her two children ask regularly. “‘Can we go to heaven?’”


Danish billionaire lost three of four children in Sri Lanka bombings

Anders Povlsen, one of the owners of British online fashion retailer, Asos, says three of his four children were killed in the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka.

A series of blasts, most thought to be the work of suicide bombers, was targeted at churches and five star hotels in eight different locations.

According to Daily Mail, spokesperson for the Danish billionaire confirmed on Monday that his children were on holiday in the south Asian country.

A few days ago, one of Povlsen’s children, Alma, had uploaded an image of her three siblings, Astrid, Agnes and Alfred, lounging at a poolside.

Astrid, Agnes and Alfred, three of the billionaire's children
Astrid, Agnes and Alfred, three of the billionaire’s children

The picture posted by Alma
It is unknown which of his three children died in the bombings which have claimed at least 290 lives.

Manisha Gunasekera, Sri Lankan high commissioner to the UK, said eight British nationals were killed in the attacks.

Citizens of the US, China, Japan and Portugal were also killed in the bombing.

No group has claimed responsibility but the police have arrested 24 suspects in connection with the incident.

The police blamed the attack on National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), an extremist group which were the subject of an intelligence warning 10 days before the attacks.

Army arrests two Zamfara traditional rulers, kills six bandits

Troops of the Nigerian Army attached to Operation Harbin Kunama 3 have arrested the traditional heads of Doka and Mutu villages in the Gusau Local Government Area of the state for serving as informants to bandits.

The troops also shot dead six bandits in Kirsa and Sunke villages in the Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State during a gun battle.

The arrest of the traditional heads comes two weeks after the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said some traditional rulers in Zamfara and the North-West region helped bandits to perpetuate criminal activities.

Although the Zamfara State Council of Chiefs denied the allegations, the minister insisted in another statement by his Public Relations Officer, Col Tukur Gusau, a week later that the Federal Government had some security reports from the region indicting some traditional rulers of complicity in banditry and killings in the state.

According to the army on Monday, apart from the arrests of the leaders of Doka and Mutu villages, whose names were not disclosed, the troops nabbed 16 other suspected informants and errand men to the bandits.

The troops were on a clearance operation in Kirsa and Sunke villages in the Anka Local Government Area when they ambushed the bandits and engaged them in a shoot-out for about two hours.

The soldiers thereafter killed six of the bandits, recovered two AK-47 rifles and two motorcycles.

It was learnt that the bandits were armed with “sophisticated automatic weapons” but were forced to flee, abandon their camps and logistics, which were subsequently destroyed by the troops.

The Director, Army Public Relations, in a statement on Monday, confirmed the arrests of the village leaders and the deaths, of the bandits, saying three motorcycles, two dane guns, two machetes, among others were recovered from the bandits in Gusau Local Government Area.

He said, “Troops on Operation Harbin Kunama 3, based on credible intelligence about bandits’ movements in Kirsa and Sunke in the Anka LGA, continued with a clearance operation into the hinterland to clear the brigands.

“Consequently, the troops engaged the bandits in a shoot-out at the bushes of Kirsa and Sunke villages which resulted in the extermination of six criminals, the recovery of two AK-47 rifles and two motorcycles.

“In Doka and Mutu villages in the Gusau LGA, troops also had a serious encounter on Saturday with a group of bandits which lasted for about two hours. The brigands were armed with sophisticated automatic weapons, but they were overpowered by the troops, forcing them to flee from their hideouts. Eighteen suspected informants to the bandits were arrested, including the village heads of Doka and Mutu villages.”

He added, “The Force Commander, Maj.-Gen Hakeem Otiki, said the troops would continue to go after bandits in Zamfara and the contiguous states of Kebbi, Katsina and Sokoto.”

Meanwhile, the Zamfara State Council of Chiefs has denied apologising to the Nigerian Air Force over its allegations that innocent villagers were victims of air strikes targeted at bandits and kidnappers terrorising the state.

Chairman of the state Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad, the Emir of Anja, while speaking to newsmen on Monday, described the report that the emirs apologised as baseless.

Recalling what transpired when the Chief of Air Staff delegation visited him, Alhaji Ahmad said, “I received an entourage led by Air Vice Marshall Idi Lubo, who was in the state to condole and sympathised with the entire people of the state over a mistake made by NAF that consumed innocent lives.

“In my remarks, there was no where I apologised that NAF mistakenly killed innocent lives during its bombardments on targeted camps operated by bandits across some villages in the state recently but, I rather used words of respect as did by the August visitor which had been our tradition when receiving guests.

“Our council meeting had, based on credible reports, believed that the killings of innocent people had occurred and we stand by our position. If later, I would come back to make a U-turn on that matter then, I should not remain as Emir,” he said.

Attahiru further said that NAF had accepted that the action was a mistake.

Saraki challenges Tinubu to provide proof of budget padding

Senate President Bukola Saraki has challenged Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to provide proofs of how the leadership of the national assembly padded budgets.

The senate president’s statement is coming barely a day after Tinubu claimed that budgets were hijacked under him and Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives.

“Just look at the way Saraki, Dogara and their ilk hijacked the budget process these past four years. National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them,” Tinubu had said in a statement from his media office on Sunday.

Saraki, however, in a statement by Yusuph Olaniyonu, his spokesperson, on Monday, said Tinubu’s statement was another effort to sell a concocted narrative about the eighth national assembly and its leadership.

The senate president challenged Tinubu to make reference to where the leadership of the national assembly “sought to pad with pet projects.”

He described the allegation as careless, irresponsible and callous, while demanding that Tinubu withdraws it.

“Yesterday, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, released another of his now well expected quarterly vicious attack on the person of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the President of the Senate,” Saraki said.

“Since we have taken it for granted that Tinubu’s attack on Saraki every three months (Quarterly) will come as expected, we would just have ignored his statement but for the fact that it was filled with untruth, fallacies and misrepresentations.

“It is unfortunate that a man like Tinubu who had been in the Senate (though for 22 months and under a military regime) should not have a better understanding of how the legislature works.

“The passage of budgets is definitely not the exclusive responsibility of the leadership of the Senate. Most of the work is done by the various committees. These committees are headed by Senators representing different parties.

“It is the level of co-operation between the committees and the MDAs in the timely defence of the budget proposals and the ability of the two chambers of the National Assembly to reconcile their figures that usually determine how soon the budget is passed.

“So, if a man like Tinubu is spreading this falsehood about budget passage and delay being deliberately orchestrated by the National Assembly leadership, one wonders whether he tries to even understand what happens in the federal legislature at all or is that the only thing that is of interest to him is ‘jockeying and maneuvering for influence’, as he puts it.

“In all the three budgets already passed by the National Assembly, we challenge Tinubu to make specific reference to where Dr. Saraki and the leadership of the National Assembly “sought to pad with pet projects” as he alleged. Tinubu should be graceful enough to substantiate this allegation.”

Listing some of the bills passed under his leadership, Saraki said he is proud that the eight assembly has surpassed the records of all previous senate in the number of bills passed and its significance to the economy.

“As a leader of the Eighth National Assembly, Dr. Saraki is proud that under his watch, the Senate has surpassed the records of all previous Senate in the number of bills passed, the significance of these bills to the revival of the economy, the fight against insecurity and corruption, improvement in the provision of health service and the education sector, as well as better social service delivery to the generality of the people,” he said.

“The bills passed, motions moved, intervention made and frequent engagement with the people were all directed towards addressing the day to day issues that affect the lives of the ordinary Nigerians.

“However, Tinubu should leave Dr. Saraki out of his schemes and manipulations towards 2023. It is obvious his arbitrary and tactless interference in the process for the emergence of the leadership of the Ninth Assembly is already falling through.

“Our only advice for him is that if he is interested in the stability of the National Assembly, he should allow the members to elect their leadership in consultations with the party leadership.”

Someone registered 64 times to ghost-write UTME for 64 candidates —JAMB

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB says it has caught someone it described as a “notorious cheat” who had registered for the UTME 64 times, with the intention of writing the examination for 64 candidates.

The Board added that overall, no fewer than 100 examination cheats have so far been arrested by security operatives across the country during the just concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

The examination body lamented that multiple registrations inflate annual registration for the UTME exercise by up to 30 per cent.

In its Weekly Bulletin released in Abuja on Monday by its spokesperson, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, JAMB said the fraudsters were engaged in multiple registrations to facilitate impersonation during the examination.

JAMB also said that data available to it showed that the practice was prevalent in virtually all the states of the federation, including Abuja.

Among the persons arrested was a notorious cheat who had registered about 64 times in a bid to “ghost-write” for 64 candidates, the Board revealed.

The examination body said the arrest of the culprits was made possible by the comprehensive and mandatory identity checks conducted on those taking the examination, with a view to fishing out professional ghost writers before the release of the results.

JAMB also said that it had cancelled the results of two Computer Based Test centres in Abia State over what it described as “widespread irregularities” during the UTME.

It gave the names of the CBT centres as Heritage and Infinity CBT centre; and Okwyzil Computer Institute Comprehensive School Ugwunabo, Aba, Abia State.

It said the drastic action was necessitated by the visual evidence obtained from a careful review of the CCTV recordings by a panel of experts engaged by the Board.

“However, in order not to unduly punish honest and hardworking candidates who found themselves attached to these two centres, the board magnanimously relocated all the candidates who had taken or were scheduled to take their examination in the two centres to other centres where they subsequently took their examinations,” it said.

JAMB apologised to innocent candidates involved in the relocation for the inconveniences they may have suffered, reaffirming its commitment to providing equal opportunity to all candidates to articulate their hopes and aspirations.

The body said that all the results of the examination sessions conducted by the Board in the two centres from April 11 to 18 were null and void.

Killings: Buhari sleeping on duty, says Bishop

The Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Reverend Stephen Mamza, has said the unabated killings, violent crimes and conflict across the country indicate that President Muhammadu Buhari has been sleeping on duty as the nation’s Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

The Catholic bishop, who spoke on the occasion of Easter, regretted the recent attacks on Adamawa, Benue, Zamfara, Nasarawa states and Southern Kaduna.

He described as unfortunate the inability of security agencies to stop these attacks despite available information to them before the attacks.

Mamza said, “We are really in a dilemma. We (Nigerians) are feeling that we don’t have protection. From all indications, there’s nothing being done. There have been calls from all over the country. Look at what is happening in Zamfara State; look at what is happening in Benue periodically, in Nasarawa State and now in Adamawa (Southern Adamawa).

“If there is a government in place then the government should listen to the people and address the security challenges. We have mass burials from time to time and there’s no sign the government cares about what is happening.”

The cleric noted that it “is the constitutional duty of the government to provide security for its citizens but that is if such government really cares.”

He charged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to wake up to its responsibilities of protecting lives, noting that the impression out there was that government did not seem to be in control of the insecurity situation in country.

“Why are we living in a country where it seems there’s no government in place?” the Catholic Bishop lamented.

He said his worry was the legacy that Buhari was going to leave behind if he failed to heed the calls by Nigerians “to overhaul the security architecture which has failed to address the security challenge.”

He said, “Since the history of this country, apart from the civil war we have never had the kind of killings under a President like we have in the last four years. So, it is clear, the killings are too many. And if the strategies they have in place do not work why can’t he (Buhari) change and overhaul the entire security architecture? People have been asking him to overhaul his security chiefs but he doesn’t listen. He doesn’t care.”

Woman, husband sell their six-hour-old baby for N850,000

Men of the Imo State Police Command have apprehended five members of a child trafficking syndicate who allegedly sold a six-hour-old baby for N850,000 shortly after he was born.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Rabiu Ladodo, who paraded the suspects at the command’s headquarters in Owerri on Saturday, described the crime as “absurd and irritating.”

Ladodo said the suspects would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigation.

The CP noted that it was unbelievable that the mother of the newborn, Chinonye Oparaocha, 23, conspired with the other suspects to trade the child after delivery.

The other suspects are Confidence Anyanwu, 28; Duru Christian, 38; George Iyowuna, 38, and William Cynthia, 44.

Ladodo said the mother of the baby conspired with a nurse at the hospital where she was delivered of the baby to take the child to Rivers State, where he was trafficked for N850,000.

According to him, it took coordinated intelligence from his men for the baby to be recovered and the suspects arrested.

The CP said, “On February 8, 2019, at an undisclosed clinic on Nekede Road in the Owerri West LGA, one Chinonye Oparaocha was delivered of a baby boy.

“The woman immediately conspired with one Confidence Anyanwu, a nurse and native of Umuhu Okwuato in the Aboh Mbaise LGA, in company with her husband, Amanze Anyanwu (at large), and carried the six hours old baby to Port Harcourt in Rivers State, where one Duru Christian, was standing by.”

The CP explained that at Port Harcourt, Christian in company with Iyowuna, met them and took custody of the baby.

Ladodo said, “George Iyowuna met them at their hideout, took the baby boy and handed him over to a prospective buyer, William Cynthia and her husband, who eventually paid the sum of N850,000.

“On April 13, operatives of the Scorpion Squad of the command, after diligent investigation, arrested these five suspects, including the mother of the baby and the nurse, who delivered her of the baby.”

The CP said the suspects had given useful information to the police, adding that efforts were ongoing to arrest other fleeing members of the gang.

France’s richest families lead $700 million fundraising effort for Notre Dame

France’s three wealthiest families are coming to the rescue of a national icon, spearheading a fundraising drive to rebuild Notre Dame that has topped $700 million.

The billionaires behind luxury giants LVMH Group, Kering and L’Oreal on Tuesday pledged a combined €500 million ($565 million) after a massive fire ripped through the Paris cathedral.

LVMH and its CEO Bernard Arnault have promised €200 million ($226 million). The donation has been matched by the Bettencourt Meyers family, which controls L’Oreal.

The Pinault family, which operates luxury conglomerate Kering has pledged €100 million ($113 million).

The three fashion dynasties have invoked patriotism and shared cultural identity in explaining their generosity following the devastating fire.

Other French companies have also written big checks: The oil and gas company Total has promised €100 million ($113 million), while tech and consulting firm Capgemini will give €1 million ($1.1 million).

Combined with other donations from companies including French bank Crédit Agricole, the total amount pledged by business and wealthy donors has reached $700 million.

Luxury giving

LVMH  which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, said in a statement that its donation showed “solidarity with this national tragedy” and that funds would be used to rebuild this “extraordinary cathedral.”

The fashion house went on to describe Notre Dame as a “symbol of French heritage and unity.” LVMH said it would make its creative and financial teams available to help with rebuilding and soliciting donations.

Arnault, its CEO, is the third richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His net worth comes in at $90.4 billion, more than that of Warren Buffett or Mark Zuckerberg.

In addition to its fashion lines, LVMH controls high-end alcohol brands such as Dom Pérignon, Hennessy and Veuve Clicquot, as well as popular beauty retailer Sephora.

LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault pictured in 2018.LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault pictured in 2018.

Kering, which is the home for brands including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, was first out of the gate Tuesday with its donation.

“This tragedy is striking all the French people, and beyond that, all those attached to spiritual values,” François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering, said in a statement.

“Faced with this tragedy, everyone wishes to give life back to this jewel of our heritage as soon as possible,” added Pinault, who is the son of the billionaire businessman François Pinault.

The Pinault family is worth an estimated $37.3 billion, per Bloomberg.

François-Henri Pinault, who manages the family’s businesses, is married to actress Salma Hayek. Kering also owns fashion brands such as Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga.

The Bettencourt family owns a 33% stake in L’Oreal, which controls brands like Maybelline, Lancome, Garnier and Kiehl’s.

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the richest woman in the world, is worth $53.5 billion, according to Bloomberg.

She inherited the stake from her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, who died in 2017. Bettencourt Meyers is the granddaughter of the company’s founder, Eugene Schueller.

The rebuilding process

The blaze at Notre Dame on Monday devastated large parts of the 850-year-old church, including its iconic spire. The fire was extinguished after nine hours.

French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to rebuild the site, saying Monday that France will launch an international fundraising campaign to assist with the effort.

The process will be expensive and lengthy, and it could take time to begin in earnest. Immediate steps will need to be taken to prevent further damage, since the structure is now particularly vulnerable to water damage.

It’s tough to estimate the total time and cost of the restoration.

The Venice Opera House, which was gutted by a blaze in 1996, reportedly reopened eight years later after €60 million ($68 million) was spent.

When Windsor Castle, one of Britain’s royal residences, was severely damaged in a fire in 1992, it reopened nearly five years later at a cost of £36.5 million ($47.8 million).


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m going slowly because I want to survive – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says he is going slowly because he wants to survive.

Speaking on Tuesday while responding to questions at a town hall meeting with the Nigerian community in Dubai, Buhari said he does not care if he is called “Baba go slow” as long as he is not looting the country’s treasury.

He said he did not want to make the mistake he made as a military head of state when he landed in prison for being so much in hurry.

“I may be ‘Baba go slow’ but I didn’t loot,” he said.

“So, whoever calls me ‘Baba go slow’, I’m very cautious of historical antecedent. Since I was in a hurry, I was locked up, I’m going slow so that I can survive.”

“I ‘bark but I cannot bite, Baba go slow,’ I have once ruled this country, some of you know that once upon a time I came in uniform and what I did was to arrest from the president downward. The president, Vice President, the governor’s and ministers, other than the president and the Vice President, the others, I put them in Kiri-Kiri, and I told them they are guilty until they can prove themselves innocent.

“And you know subsequently what happened- we put about six tribunals base on the geopolitical zones, and those who were ministers and governors were asked to justify what they have in the banks and physical on the ground relative to their legitimate earnings.

“There were only two Nigerians then to my knowledge who were found to be very Honourable, both of them are dead now: Biliaminu Usman, a junior minister, from Jigawa State, and Adamu Chiroma, a minister of finance and governor of central bank.

“They were incredible Nigerians. But you know what happened, eventually, I myself was arrested, I was put in detention for three and a quarter years, luckily for me, I was not stupid, I didn’t take anybody’s money, so there was no bad publicity for me because they couldn’t find anything against me.

“Eventually I was released, and that was why I made up my mind since the bulk is partisan politics, I joined the partisan politics. You also know what happened, I tried three times, and I managed to succeed the fourth time.”

Court orders return to ‘status quo’ in 9mobile case

Binta Nyako, a judge of the federal high court, has asked parties to a suit on .the sale of the Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited (EMTS) to maintain the ‘status quo’.

“Any action that has been taken concerning the rest of this litigation from the 25th day of April, which is earlier in time, should revert to the position, as of the res, to its 25th day of April 2018,” she said.

The ruling, dated April 1, 2019, was in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/288/2018 filed on April 6, 2018, by Afdin Ventures Limited and Dirbia Nigeria Limited, the two major investors in Etisalat.

The two major investors — with investments estimated at $43,033,950 — had sued Etisalat to retrieve their investments following their alleged exclusion from the decision-making process of the firm.

The plaintiffs had said they met the court to void the sale of Etisalat, upon learning that the defendants have proceeded to conclude the transfer of the company’s ownership despite earlier restraining orders.

“In 2009, the plaintiffs/applicants purchased a total of 4,303,391 class “A” shares from the 1st, 2nd and 5th defendants (Karlingtton, Premium Telecommunication and Etisalat International) at the rate of $43,033,950 only, and were issued with share certificates,” they said in a supporting affidavit to the motion dated November 16, 2018.

“In 2010, the defendants rebranded Etisalat Nigeria Limited to 9mobile and entered into negotiations with and Glo Network to transfer its licence without recourse to the plaintiffs.

“When the plaintiffs became aware of the purported transaction, they filed this suit along with two applications namely: motion ex-parte and motion on notice, seeking for an order of injunction to restrain the defendants from going ahead with the transaction.

“When this suit came up for hearing on the 17th of April, 2018, this honourable court ordered parties to maintain status quo-pending the determination of the motion on notice.”

Defendants in the suit are: Karington Telecommunication Ltd, Premium Telecommunications Holdings NV, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Etisalat International Nigeria Ltd and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Teleology formally took over the management of 9mobile following the issuance of the final approval of no objection by the board of the NCC on November 12, 2018.

Five Nigerians arrested over UAE bureau de change robbery

Five men have been arrested in connection with a daring armed robbery at a money exchange house in Sharjah, police said on Sunday.

The suspects, all Nigerian and aged in their 20s, stole currency worth over Dh2 million (N226m) during a seven-minute heist at the Al Tauwain branch of Al Ansari Exchange close to midnight on March 20.

The police said they have recovered foreign and Arab currency worth Dh2.3 million from the suspects.

Giving details of the incident at a press conference in Sharjah, Major General Saif Ziri Al Shamsi, Commander-in-chief of Sharjah Police, said, “Four of the suspects entered the exchange and attacked its employees while the fifth was waiting for them in a car outside. The suspects also threatened the employees with sharp weapons before taking away cash. The whole operation took seven minutes.”

Major General Al Shamsi said by the time the police were informed about the incident, the suspects had escaped. The employees failed to activate the alarm to alert the police. The alarm went off four minutes after the raid, which gave the suspects a chance to escape, he noted.

Sharjah Police briefing the media about the robbery.Image Credit: Aghaddir Ali/Gulf News

However, the Sharjah Police managed to catch up with them. Thanks to surveillance camera footage, they were able to identify the faces.

The gang had travelled in a used car which led the police to the first suspect within 48 hours of the crime. As it turned out, the gang members had spread themselves out in other emirates after the robbery to escape notice and had planned to communicate with each other through their Facebook accounts.

But Major General Al Shamsi said the police, which had formed a special team, traced their whereabouts and raided their hideouts in Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi. All the suspects were arrested with the help of the police forces in these emirates.

During the raids, the police recovered the stolen money, besides sharp weapons.

The money recovered from the suspects.Image Credit: Aghaddir Ali/Gulf News

Sharjah Police warned bank and exchange owners to be alert while transporting cash.

Visit Visa

According to police, three of the suspects had resident visas while two of them were on a visit visa. The head of the gang had entered the UAE just two days before the robbery. All the five, who have confessed to the crime, said they intended to leave the country.

Fifteen Nigerians, including four women, were arrested for illegal stay during the search operations. The case has been referred to the public prosecution for further action.

The issue of visit visas without due diligence has now come into sharp focus.

Just last week, Sharjah Police discussed with the concerned authorities mechanisms to prevent the misuse of visas. During the 2019 Economic Sustainability Forum, it was pointed out that many visitors enter the UAE as businessman but take to begging, while some others commit thefts.

Two money exchange staff injured

Rashid Al Ansari, General Manager of Al Ansari Exchange Company, who was also present at the press conference, said the gang members attacked employees of the money exchange who were sitting behind a glass panel.

The suspects smashed the panel with hammers and jumped inside the counter where the money safe box was kept. Two of the exchange staff sustained minor injuries while resisting the suspects.

Although the exchange had closed at 11.30pm, the employees were catering to one customer which was why the main door remained open, giving the suspects easy access.

The Al Tauwain branch is one of Al Ansari’s 185 exchanges in the UAE, including 30 in Sharjah, Al Ansari added.

Gulf News


INEC suspends issuance of certificates to Zamfara APC candidates


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the presentation of certificates of return to candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara state.

The electoral commission disclosed this in a tweet on Tuesday.


More to follow…