I am not a Nigerian – By Anifowoshe Titilope

I must confess choosing to write a topic like this, is one of the greatest challenge I have ever encountered in the whole of my existence. I had sleepless nights thinking about the title to use for this work.

I am well abreast of the fact that choosing a topic like this will generate a lot of questions and controversies in the minds of my readers but I thought it would be wise of me to shed some light on the issue of my origin and nationality, I wrote this piece not only because its a part of the compilation of my ghetto script but to also huff-puff my mind and correct some misconceptions of people regarding their perception of me.

It is with deep sense of utmost necessity that. I’m writing to let people (those whom I have met and those whom I’m yet to meet) know that I AM NOT A NIGERIAN, even though some irreversible circumstances make people identify me as a NIGERIAN which I will discuss in the preceding paragraphs but before I explain the irreversible circumstances, I will like to talk about the two types of slaves that I know.

First, is the natural slaves (natural slaves are slaves who had been enslaved mentally and look up to other people for help). Second, is the artificial slaves (artificial slaves are those slaves who are captured in war or bought in the market as a commodity).

Let us go down memory lane here, before the Europeans first came in contact with Africans in the 15th century and for much of the 18th and 19th century, there was nothing like a place called Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, Republic of Benin, Ghana and what have you.

All we had then in the African traditional society where so much emphasis was placed on respect for elders and culture and where Africans had been developing quantitatively and qualitatively was a kingdom or an empire like the OYO empire, ASHANTI kingdom, KANURI kingdom, DAHOMEY kingdom and many more. But when the European great powers came to Africa through exploration and trade, they abolished most of the African system and way of life in other to advance their Agenda to improve their society at the expense of Africans.

The idea of colonialism was to explore all around the world and gain access to territories where there was little or no military power in other to exploit their resources, enslaved their people and compel them with force to be subjected to the way of life of their colonial masters.

To forestall this, several congresses were held and treatises were signed among the European great powers. After all said and done, the great powers came into Africa with their heavy military resources and as such used their military power to force, enslaved and colonised Africans.

It was after this that many African states were shared among the European great powers like the Britain, France, Portugal and spain. During this time, some part of west Africa were shared among the French and British government. Nigeria in particular, was granted to the British government which colonised, enslaved and exploit their (African) resources at the expense of the people. While Togo, Mali, Republic of Benin and the likes were granted to the French government.

The Name Nigeria was coined from River Niger flowing through her territory. A name given by flora shaw in 1898, a wife of the British Administrator in the region as at that time. A colonial name or more or less like a slave name given to all the inhabitant of the Land.

During this colonial period, the colonial masters succeeded in dividing and sharing Africa and Africans among themselves, exploiting the resources of Africa to advance and improve their society at the expense of Africans through trade and their imperialist style (imperialism is a system whereby the rich and powerful nations control the less powerful nation.

It describes colonial and territorial policies, it also explains economic and or military influence. It is sometimes used to describe the indirect political and economic influence of the weak states by powerful ones. I. E if the dominant country is felt in social and cultural circle.

For example, if the latest style of fashion in Britain, America and France is also in vogue in Lagos, Accra, kinshasha and lome that’s imperialism. Or a gentleman dancing on the street of Lagos, Lome, Abidjan, Accra and Nairobi to the latest music in paris, london and new york, that’s another example of imperialism).

Till today, this slavery ideology still persist even after the abolishment of slave trade and colonialism. Little wonder, Africa is categorized by the United Nations as an underdeveloped nation while those who exploit the resources of Africa to advance their societies were categorized by the United nations as developed nations.

Africa must be underdeveloped since the great powers in the United Nations security council had successfully divided Africa among themselves so that Africans can look up to their country for help.

Saddening ! Any diagnosis of underdevelopment in Africa will reveal not just low per-capital income and protein deficiencies as stipulated by the united nations, but also the young man dancing on the street of Lagos, Accra, Lome, kinshasha and Abidjan when music is played in Paris, London and New york OR A foreign investor who establish companies in Lagos, Accra, Lome, Abidjan etc and exploit the resources of Africa to advance its country. Just like, J. E Casely- Hayford, An African(gold coast) nationalist once said in 1922 “before even the British came into relation with our people, we were a developed people, having our own institutions, having our own ideas of government”

I was born into this world about two decades ago among the black race (Africa), where the heat is like a second skin in the Yoruba land. I was never born Nigerian (Nigerians are those natural slaves discussed earlier, who had been enslaved mentally by the great powers and look up to them for help. No wonder! Nigerians are smelling and packaging people. Little wonder, everyday Nigerians live in destitute, despair, pain, sorrow and poverty), I was born black and free(African) in the western part of Africa which is today known as “Nigeria”(an artificial state created by the colonial masters in the 19th century).

While I was growing up in this part of the world, I knew I will be a voice in this world, I speak my mind without fear or favor, so I deserve to be heard. I also knew I am a light in this world and I’m going to shine till the end. That was why I have embarked on my historic journey from ghetto to globe.

I met diverse kind of people from different tribes, background and origins, many of whom perceived me as been radical, some of them think I am arrogant, friendly, humorous, dull, calm, smart and industrious while majority of them perceived me as a human right activist. Often times, I got confused about these people’s perception of me even though I pay leap ears to most of their perceptions.

Like every other African child, I received an education which the contents and pattern of the curriculum is cantered and structured in the colonial style. I remember while in the elementary school, speaking my mother tongue(vernacular) in class is prohibited and attracts fine while speaking English(the colonial masters’ language) is the only generally accepted mode of communication in class.

I was given an alien name(Tawakkaltu -arabic name). All this experiences never made me see myself as an African coupled with the fact that I was confused in choosing between the religion of my ancestral forefathers and that of my some far away Arabians even though I love the holy prophet SAW of ISLAM but often times the I am confused. These confusion led me to many rational thoughts which made me rethink the past. My inquiry into the past made me realize that under normal circumstances I am truly not a NIGERIAN.

I will end this piece by sharing this little information with my fellow Africans, those who always wonder if Africa will rise again. Yes! Africa will surely rise again, if only Africans are ready to revolutionized their social instinct, if only Africans are ready to emancipate their mental slavery, if only Africans are ready to detach themselves from the so called great powers whose puppets are in the helms of affair in almost all Africa countries and if only Africans can come together to live as one and develop themselves with the abundant resources in the Continent.


LegalEagle is a student at Nigerian Law School Abuja.

She can be reached via titilopeanny@gmail.com

No Nigerian died in South African xenophobic attacks – Nigerian government

The Federal Government has said no Nigerian died during the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

The government on Thursday also urged the South African government to put in place measures to end the incessant attacks on Nigerians in that country.

The Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Khadija Abba-Ibrahim, gave the task in Abuja during a second summon to the High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria, Lulu Aaron-Mnguni, on the issue.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Ministry had on Monday, February 20, summoned the South Africa High Commissioner over the matter.
Nigerian buildings, properties and places of worship worth millions of dollars were destroyed by South Africans on February 5 and 18.

“The Federal Government strongly urges the South African government to take all necessary measures to protect the lives and foreigners living and working in South Africa.

“Furthermore, the federal government urges the South African Government to bring perpetrators of these deplorable acts of violence to justice.
“The ministry continues to urge Nigerians in South Africa to remain calm and law abiding, and be vigilant at the same time.’’

“The Federal Government of Nigeria will strenuously work towards the protection of Nigerians everywhere, including in South Africa,” she added.
The minister said no Nigerian lost their lives in the attacks contrary to reports in some media.
According to her, the reports that mentioned the killing of Nigerians in the xenophobic attacks are unsubstantiated.

“The ministry has not received the report of any death of Nigerian in the latest incidents of attacks against foreigners.
“The Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria is in constant touch with the Nigerian Union in South Africa, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) of South Africa, as well as the South African police.

“All these agencies have confirmed that no Nigerian life was lost in the recent incident,” she said.

The minister said the government was in touch with South African authorities to ensure the safety of Nigerians there.
The minister therefore appealed to the media not to fuel the crisis further with unconfirmed reports.

Responding, the South Africa High Commissioner to Nigeria said his government was on top of the situation.

Mr. Aaron-Mnguni said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of South African will hold a briefing with the diplomatic community in his country on Friday to fashion out more ways to solve the problem.

Nigerian, American firms to power 25 communities with solar energy.

Two firms have signed an agreement to provide power to 25 communities across Nigeria using solar energy.

The communities are in Bayelsa, Ondo, Ogun and Osun states.

A Nigerian firm, Community Energy Social Enterprises Limited, CESEL, and its American counterpart, Renewvia Energy Corporation, signed a $767,512 agreement to provide solar energy for the communities on ‘pay-as- you-go’ basis.

The CESEL Managing Director, Patrick Tolani, signed the agreement on behalf of his company while Clay Taber, Managing Director of Renewvia, signed for his firm, at the Power Africa office in Abuja.

The MoU signing was witnessed by Power Africa Coordinator, Andrew Herscowitz, and the United States Agency for International Development mission director in Nigeria, Michael Harvey.

Mr. Tolani said the benefitting communities were those that had no access to electricity for more than 10 years, including Brass in Bayelsa and Magboro in Ogun State.

Others, he said, include Ilajera and Gbokoda in Ondo State and a community which was completely cut off the grid because of isolation in Osun State.

Mr. Taber in his remarks said Renewvia would install and operate micro-grid systems with solar photo-voltaic generation capacity and battery storage in the 25 benefiting communities.

According to him, the design of the micro-grids for the project will include PV panels, string inverters, aluminium racking and energy storage backup power.

He said, “Renewvia and CESEL would sell micro-grid customers electricity by Kilowatts through a ‘pay as you go’ structure.

“The competitiveness of the system helps to ensure payment, as the project would provide consistent and reliable power at a less expensive price than current rural power generation by diesel.”

He added that Renewvia and CESEL also planned to facilitate the transaction through mobile payments, noting that the project would employ local and remote resources to support the needs of the power plant for each micro-grid.

The project was supported by Power Africa, a U.S. energy project initiated in 2013 to assist African countries in accessing energy.

It is expected that the project would provide up to 10 megawatts and connect over 10, 000 households, according to a study by Renewvia.

The project is also expected to be completed in one year.

CESEL is a private Nigerian company that has led the community engagement for six operational micro-grid projects in Nigeria. These micro-grids received funding through the Nigeria Bank of Industry and United Nations Development Programme.

Renewvia is a private U.S renewable energy developer and solar power plant operator established in 2009. Renewvia specialises in providing mini-grid and solar energy solutions for residential, commercial and utility-scale applications.

Micro-grid is a small network of electricity users with a local source of supply that is usually attached to a centralised national grid but is able to function independently.

Nigerian, Algerian arrested for planning to bomb Germany

An Algerian and a Nigerian suspected to be planning to carry out a terrorist attack have been arrested in the German city of Goettingen, officials said on Thursday.

The men, aged 27 and 23 respectively, were taken into custody in a 450-strong police operation that took place during the night.

The Goettingen police and the Interior Ministry of the state of Lower Saxony did not confirm whether any evidence was confiscated as part of the raids.

The men have been classified by Germany’s domestic intelligence agency as “a danger to others.”

Police Chief, Uwe Luehrig said that evidence gathered in the past few days about the men’s terrorist plot had forced the authorities into action.



Nigerian, Algerian arrested for planning to bomb Germany


JUST IN: One Nigerian killed, another abducted in South Africa.

The Nigerian community in South Africa  on Sunday confirmed the death of a Nigerian and the abduction of another in that country.

Ikechukwu Anyene, the president of  Nigeria Union, South Africa, told NAN via telephone both  incidents had  been reported to the Nigerian mission in that country.

He  said on Thursday, one Victor Nnadi, a native of Orlu in  Imo state, was suffocated to death by the metropolitan police in Cape Town.

Anyene said witnesses saw the police handcuff the victim.

“When the people saw what happened, they  raised  an alarm and confronted the police,” Anyene said.

“The union`s chapter in Cape Town is already on top of the situation and trying its best to facilitate the release of   the detained brother of the deceased.”

Anyene urged the federal government to persuade the South African government to put measures in place to stop  the killing of  Nigerians.

He said on  December 24, the union got information that one Austin Agunwa,  a native of  Umuawulu, in Awka south local government area of  Anambra state, was abducted by unidentified persons  at Rustenburg, north-west province.

He said Nigerians in the province raised a search team, which later found the victim’s car abandoned, after a crash  near a bridge.

Anyene said the vehicle had no blood stain.

“As we speak, we don’t know his whereabouts  and nobody has claimed responsibility for his abduction,” Anyene said.

“We have directed the union`s chapter in the area to report the incident to the police and open a case on  the missing Nigerian.”

Anyene also said that the union`s national body would liaise with Nigeria’s high commission to visit Rustenburg over the incident.

“We have also advised our people to be calm and  remain law abiding as the union and  the Nigerian Mission are handling the situation,” he said.

Church Of England Appoints Nigerian As First Black Bishop In 20 years

The Church of England has appointed its first black bishop for 20 years in a move that significantly increases its handful of minority ethnic clergy in senior leadership positions, reports the guardian.

The church announced that Woyin Karowei Dorgu is to be the 13th bishop of Woolwich, and will be consecrated at Southwark Cathedral on 17 March.

Dorgu was born and brought up in Nigeria, and ordained in the UK. Woolwich, in south-east London, has a significant Nigerian population, many of whom worship in black-majority Pentecostal churches rather than the C of E.

At a press conference at Southwark Cathedral, Dorgu said one of his priorities as bishop would be to celebrate the racial diversity of the Woolwich area. He said he intended to “encourage BAME [black and minority ethnic] vocations and more participation in ministry”.

“I will celebrate the diversity in race, ability, gender, sexuality and class … Celebrating our differences is a gift,” he added.

The only other black bishop in the Church of England is John Sentamu, now archbishop of York – second in the church hierarchy – who was consecrated as bishop of Stepney 20 years ago. There are three BAME archdeacons and one dean.

Dorgu told the Guardian his appointment was “a small step in the right direction”, adding: “Quite a lot of Nigerian Christians [in the Woolwich area] are from an Anglican background. I hope my appointment will be a model. Seeing someone from a similar background could be a catalyst for dialogue between the C of E and black majority churches and Nigerians looking for a spiritual home.”

Although he and Sentamu were the only black bishops, Dorgu said: “I would not describe the position as lonely. There is a lot of support and friendship.”

On the issue of sexuality, which has divided the Church of England and the global Anglican communion for two decades, Dorgu said he stood firmly behind the church’s official position. The church refuses to conduct same-sex church weddings on the traditional biblical grounds that marriage is between a man and a woman, and its insistence that gay clergy must be celibate.

Dorgu – known to some of his congregation as Brother K – trained as a medical doctor in Lagos before being ordained. He was brought up in a Christian family but said as a teenager he rebelled against the gospel and left the church.

Credit: dailytrust

Nigerian Soldiers Repel 10 Boko Haram Attacks In 2 Weeks– Theatre Commander

Nigerian soldiers repelled at least 10 different attacks by Boko Haram in the past two weeks, a military commander has said.

The commander of the ‘Lafiya Dole’ counterinsurgency operation in north-east Nigeria, Lucky Irabor, said on Thursday that scores of insurgents were killed in the attacks while a few soldiers also lost their lives.

Mr. Irabor, a major general, however said troops under his command are prepared to bring an end to the Boko Haram insurgency.

He called on Boko Haram members to give up their dying struggle and surrender to the Nigeria troops or face the bitter fate that befell their killed colleagues.

Speaking at a press conference in Maiduguri, Mr. Irabor said the troops in the past two weeks raided several camps of the Boko Haram around Borno and Yobe states during which a total of 801 captives were freed.

A total of 27 Boko Haram insurgents were also arrested by the troops during the raids, he said.

He said in the last two weeks, the Nigerian troops have been able to move “deeper into Sambisa Forest on many fronts, under its present Operation Rescue Finale.”

The operation rescue finale was launched last month as a continuation of an existing Operation Crackdown, which was aimed at rescuing all the Chibok girls and other hostages held in Sambisa forest.

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Why I Rejected Bill Gates’ Job Offer – Nigerian Young Entrepreneur, Chris Kwekowe

Chris Kwekowe, a young Nigerian entrepreneur reportedly turn down a job offer be a software engineer at Microsoft, owned by the richest man in the world, Bill Gates to begin his own start-up in Lagos.

The twenty-three years old Lagos university graduate proudly revealed this to Bill Gates during a television interview for Africa’s brightest young entrepreneurs in August 2016.

He said he did so to build up his own website called Slatecube– a website aimed at curbing Nigeria`s unemployment problem.

“When I told him, Gates was intrigued and he smiled. After the programme, all the directors were like, ‘Dude, you mean you actually turned down a job at Microsoft and had the guts to tell Bill Gates?’”

According to reports, a survey of 90,000 young Nigerians which was done in January 2016 discovered that 45% of college graduates didn’t have jobs with key reason on lack of professional skills such as: critical thinking, entrepreneurship, and decision-making.

He noted that Slatecube seeks to solve that problem by nurturing the graduates through digital internships and so far, Slatecube has an 80% employment rate for its users.

Nigerian Becomes First Female To Win VSO Award In UK

Oluwatosin Folarin has won the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) National Youth Volunteer Award for 2016 and is the first Nigerian to win this award.  The 23-year-old graduate was posted to Ilesa in Osun state with fifteen other volunteers for three months. VSO, an International Development Charity works to address poverty under which their volunteers were sent to work in rural communities in order to secure Livelihoods.

At the ceremony which took place in the United Kingdom, Julia Lalla-Mahharagh, Chief Executive of the Orchid project, and judge for the award outlined that while assessing nominees, they had been impressed by her (Folarin) “Ability to go above and beyond.”  She said, “What wowed us as judges was the fact that Tosin went beyond her brief which was extensively to look at livelihoods. But so much more that what she seemed to do was meet the community exactly where they were at. Everything she did, she did with such passion.”

Folarin, who received her award by video was elated and described the experience as a “challenge which has made me become a better person, focused on achieving greater success.”  According to her, “Our project was themed ‘Securing Livelihood’ and we effected coherently with some of the United Nation’s seventeen developmental goals.  With respect to the first, second and eight goals which are end poverty, end hunger and decent work for all we carried out various projects  like farming in the model farm, training  farmers and enlightening them on various approaches to cocoa and cocoa value chain as well as encouraging them to explore on farming.  We also taught them couples of skills in order for them secure a living.

“Additionally, the third goal which is “wellbeing” we organized different programmes on health in which free medical check was conducted and trained practitioners were invited to speak to the community members.”

She described that, “Volunteering is a good way of making impact in your society and country at large. A little act of service goes a long way to make a positive change. This is why for the fourth goal which is “quality education”, volunteers had series of mentoring with pupils, and taught them some of their academic work.”

On Gender equality, she detailed that the fifth SDG goal was meritoriously looked into where women in the communities were able to understand that “they are not the weaker vessels.” “They understood that they also have equal rights and strength as their male counterparts,” She added.



Donald Trump Appoints Ondo State Born Nigerian In His Economic Advisory Team

President-Elect Donald Trump has appointed some of the best and brightest brains in the world to be on his Economic Advisory team to “Make America Great again”.

He appointed a multibillionaire and the CEO’s of fortune 500 companies such as Boeing, Walmart, JP Morgan Chase amongst others.
Of the over dozen Presidential appointments, Ondo state born Nigerian businessman Bayo Ogunlesi an Oxford and Harvard graduate who is the CEO and Founder of a multibillion dollar company Global Infrastructure Partners made the list.

He is also the only black man on the Advisory Committee, whose father was the first Professor of Medicine in Nigeria. According to Bloomberg he is worth an estimated $900 million dollars.
See the the list of President-elect Donald Trump’s economic advisory team:

  • Stephen Schwarzman (forum chairman), chairman, CEO, and cofounder of Blackstone
  • Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners, former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Mary Barra, chairwoman and CEO, General Motors
  • Toby Cosgrove, CEO, Cleveland Clinic
  • Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Larry Fink, chairman and CEO, BlackRock
  • Bob Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company
  • Rich Lesser, president and CEO, Boston Consulting Group
  • Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
  • Jim McNerney, former chairman, president, and CEO of Boeing
  • Adebayo “Bayo” Ogunlesi, chairman and managing partner, Global Infrastructure Partners
  • Ginni Rometty, chairwoman, president, and CEO of IBM
  • Kevin Warsh, Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in economics at the Hoover Institute, former\
  • member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Mark Weinberger, global chairman and CEO, EY
  • Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO, General Electric
  • Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize winner, vice chairman of IHS Markit



EPL: Another Nigerian set to join Leicester City

Another Nigeria international, Wilfred Ndidi, is set for a move to the Premier League where reigning champions, Leicester City, are about sorting out lose ends with his Belgian club, Genk.

Leicester City already have Super Eagles star, Ahmed Musa, in their squad.

The club have suggested in multiple reports across England that Ndidi would be joining his compatriot all things being equal during the January transfer window.

The UK Mirror reports that The Foxes have raised the stakes after opening the bidding with a £16 million approach for the Nigeria international.

Ndidi, 19, has been in spectacular form of late and his performances as caught the eye of a number of clubs including Chelsea and Tottenham.

But Leicester are trying to steal a march on their rivals with the early move and are confident of landing Ndidi when the transfer window reopens next month.

Coach Claudio Ranieri has earmarked Ndidi as his long-term replacement for N’Golo Kante who quit the champions to join league leaders Chelsea last summer.

Only on Tuesday, statistics released threw Ndidi up as the player who has the highest tackles and interceptions in the Europa League so far this season.

This puts him ahead of the likes of the world most expensive player, Paul Pogba who is also playing in the Europa League with Manchester United.

Ndidi, who can play in centre of defence or as a midfielder in front of the back four, will require a work permit to complete a dream move to England.

Nigerian Arrested In Mauritius Over ‘Heroin In Cosmetic Containers’

A Nigerian student has been arrested in Mauritius following the seizure of alleged heroin hidden in small pots of a cosmetic brand.

Uchenna Philips Okafor, 23, was nabbed by police on Tuesday in the sea side town of Flic-en-Flac during a sting operation.

Mr Okafor, who lives in Mauritius, has not yet commented on the allegation that he was dealing in drugs.

About 250 grams of heroin worth 3.7 million Mauritian rupees ( $103,000, £82,397) was concealed in 26 small containers of a cosmetic brand, and intercepted at the island’s main airport on Sunday by customs officers and bloodhounds of the Anti-Drug and Smuggling Unit, police say.

The consignment, allegedly addressed to Mr Okafor, had been sent from Charles de Gaulle airport in France.

Police allege that South African rands, US dollars, Mauritian rupees and Bangladesh takas were seized from Mr Okafor’s home, along with a fake Mauritian identity card.

He is expected to appear in court today, and will answer to a provisional charge of attempting to take a delivery of drugs.

Credit: BBC

Deported Nigerian Man Re-arrested in US for Scamming Woman of Over $9,000

A 47-year-old Nigerian man, Chigozie Valentine Agu, has been arrested in Vermillion Parish, Louisiana, US, on charges of ‘Felony Theft’ in excess of $5,000, Bank Fraud, Money Laundering, and Racketeering.
Agu was nabbed after he scammed an elderly woman to the tune of nearly $9,000.

The suspect was deported to Louisiana and booked into the Vermillion Parish Correctional Center and was arrested at the weekend by the Metro Washington Airport Authority at Dulles Airport, following an investigation by General Landry’s Louisiana Bureau of Investigation (LBI) as he re-entered the United States.

Attorney General Landry of the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, told Daily Mail that, “In May 2016, Agu contacted an elderly Vermillion Parish resident, telling her he was a Department of Homeland Security official and found a piece of luggage containing money he would return to her for a fee.

“The LBI found proof that Agu received the money and that he attempted to conceal his crime through bank wire transfers and a third party.

“Overall, Agu scammed the elderly woman out of $8,890.

“Our office is on the front lines investigating, arresting, and educating to help stop the awful occurrence of seniors being targeted and preyed upon by scammers.

“We want to help Louisiana’s people avoid falling victim to mortgage, contractor, charity and other types of frauds commonly perpetrated on senior citizens.”

“It is an absolutely despicable crime to take advantage of our elderly family, friends, and neighbors.

“No matter the great lengths these shameless criminals take, my office will do all we can to get justice for their victims,” General Landry was quoted as saying.

U.S. Distributes N51 Million To 30 Nigerian NGOS

The U.S. Government has distributed N51 million grants ($167,227 at N305 per $1) to 30 non-governmental organisations in Nigeria for community-based projects.

The Ambassador’s Small Grants Programme was presented to recipients from different geo-political zones in the country on Monday by the new U.S. Ambassador, W. Stuart Symington, at the U.S. embassy in Abuja.

The small grants programme is largely funded by the special self-help programmes through the Department of State and U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Mr. Stuart said that the self-help projects have been aiding people and communities across Africa for 20 years.

With its main focus on Nigerian communities, the ambassador reaffirmed the cliché that Nigeria is the heart of Africa.

“Nigeria is the most important project in Africa and one of the most important projects in the world.

“Smart people have said if Nigeria succeeds, Africa will succeed and if Africa succeeds then the world will succeed,” he said.

He expressed delight that the grants were geared towards assisting persons and families affected by HIV and AIDS, including innovative projects that provide care and support to orphans, vulnerable children and their households.

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Art By Nigerian Auctions For Record $1.1m At Sotheby’s

A new auction record was set for the Nigerian-born artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby in New York last week when “Drown” soared to sell for $1,092,500, over three times the high-estimate ($200,000-$300,000), in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale. No fewer than 11 bidders competed for the work that was eventually sold to an anonymous buyer on the telephone.

This was the second time in less than two months that the auction record for Njideka Akunyili Crosby had been broken at Sotheby’s. The previous auction record for the artist was $93,750, set by her “Untitled” work from 2011 at Sotheby’s New York in September 2016.

“Drown” is an intimate self-portrait of the artist with her husband, Justin, and demonstrates beautifully how the layers of Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s work reference the layers of her own identity.

In May next year, Sotheby’s will launch its first dedicated sales of “African Modern and Contemporary Art” in London, led by Hannah O’Leary, Sotheby’s recently-appointed Head of Modern and Contemporary African Art.

Credit: thisdaylive

Nigerian Navy Sends Troops To Fight Boko Haram

The Nigerian Military said on Wednesday that it deployed Naval troops to Borno as part of its renewed efforts to end the Boko Haram terrorism in the North-East.

The Theater Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Lucky Irabor, a Maj. Gen., told journalists in Maiduguri that the troops were inducted into the theater as the maritime component to strengthen its operation.

“The advance party for the maritime component of Operation Lafiya Dole has been inducted into the theater on September 8,” he said.

“They will be deployed at Naval Outpost in Baga and will later operate around the fringes of Nigerian side of the Lake Chad.

“However, they are now temporarily accommodated at the Federal College of Fresh Water and Fishery Technology in Baga, awaiting arrival of the main body and other logistics.

“Currently, they are conducting patrols in conjunction with troops of Multi National Joint Task Force in Baga,” he said.

The commander said the troops of the theater recorded successes in clearing Boko Haram insurgents under its “Operation KARYA GWIWA’’.

“On October 28, our troops commenced clearing operations on two axis to clear and destroy insurgents along Golgore, Doksa, Ajigin and environs.

 “The troops located a terrorist’s camp and on sighting the team, they fled the camp abandoning seven motorcycles, five bicycles, a desert camouflage and a large quantity of drugs.

“All the recovered items were destroyed and during the operations, 37 terrorists were killed while two officers and five soldiers were wounded and a member of the vigilante died, during the offensive operation.

“On October 29, our troops continued their advance and later came under Boko Haram ambush at Ugundiri, where five soldiers sustained gunshot wounds.

“Two anti-aircraft guns were recovered from the terrorists and a gun truck was destroyed,” he said.

Credit: NAN

Nigerian Breaks Guinness Record By Cycling 100km With Ball On His Head

Harrison Chinedu, a footballer, cycled a total of 103.6 kilometers across Lagos without dropping the ball.

CNN says Chinedu may have broken the Guinness World Record for the farthest distance traveled with a football on the head.

If successful, he will not only break an existing record, he would also have created a new one, the news network reports.

It will take around 90 days for the Guinness World Record body to verify and confirm the results.

Chinedu, who played professional football in Cambodia, told CNN he discovered the skill during his 10-year professional football career.

He said he then read about the Guinness World Record and set out to do something extraordinary.

“I did it because I wish to share my God-given talent to the world and to encourage the young ones to do something that has never been done before,” he said in a phone interview from his home in Lagos.

According to Chinedu, the most challenging part of his trip was cycling on the Eko bridge, one of the three bridges connecting the Lagos mainland and Lagos Island. It sits over the Lagos lagoon and is 3.43 kilometers long.

Chinedu said with the help of policemen and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officers he was able to navigate through heavy traffic, bumps and potholes on the road.

Credit: dailytrust

Singapore: Execution of Chijoke Obioha violates international law – Amnesty International

Reacting to the executions of Chijioke Stephen Obioha, a Nigerian national, and Devendran Supramaniam, a Malaysian national, by the Singapore authorities, Josef Benedict, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:

“The Singapore authorities have brazenly violated international law with these shameful executions. The death penalty is a cruel and irreversible punishment that most of the world has turned its back on. Singapore continues to remain an outlier, executing people for crimes that do not meet the ‘most serious’ threshold to which the death penalty must be restricted under international law.

“The executions took place secretively, with some details only emerging at the eleventh hour. When a person’s life is involved, the authorities must be fully transparent about their actions, to ensure that everyone has a right to a fair trial and due process is followed, allowing the families and the public at large can have easily access to all information on the case.

The death penalty is never a solution. It will not rid Singapore of drugs or serve as an effective deterrent.”

Singapore to hang Chijioke Stephan Obioha tomorrow morning for drug crime.

Nigerian national set to be hanged at dawn tomorrow for trafficking of Cannabis after Apex Court dismisses last ditch appeal.

Chijioke Stephan Obioha, a Nigerian graduate who first came to Singapore for a football trial, is set to be hung at dawn tomorrow after the Court of Appeal dismissed an Urgent Criminal Motion filed by his lawyer, Mr Joseph Chen. Chijioke was first arrested in 2007 and sentenced to the Mandatory Death Penalty in 2008 after being found guilty of trafficking more than 2kg of Cannabis

His execution tomorrow will bring and end to what the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign member Mr Ravi calls ‘possibly the longest delay between sentencing and execution.’ Chijioke has spent almost 8 years on death row and more than 9 years behind bars. The contention that arose from the urgent criminal motion that the Court of Appeal heard at 5pm earlier today was whether the ‘unprecedented mental anguish’ Chijioke experienced contravened Article 9(1) of the Constitution in so far as it amounted to cruel and inhumane treatment.

Mr Ravi who also recently wrote a piece which argued that the ‘unprecedented mental anguish’ that Chijioke experienced in his 8 years on death row amounted to a ‘violation of human rights’ in itself. He stated that, to his knowledge, the delay in Chijioke’s execution is ‘possibly the longest in Singapore’s history.’ In addition to International Human Rights instruments, he also cites the Privy Council Case of Pratt and Morgan v Attorney-General for Jamaica, where it was held that ‘the delay of 5 years and 6 months which had elapsed since an accused’s conviction amounted to cruel and unusual punishment and breached his constitutional right not to be deprived of life.’

Mr Ravi, who is assisting Mr Joseph with the research for the case, shared that Singapore’s Apex Court had dismissed the motion in a Facebook post. The post was published at 7pm, about 2 hours after the Court begun to hear the case. The Judges dismissed the appeal, ruling that the issues had already been settled in the case of Yong Vui Kong, Mr Ravi’s client.

“The court of appeal has dismissed Chijioke’s constitutional challenge on the ground that Article 9(1) of Singapore’s constitution does not prohibit cruel and inhuman punishment and degrading treatment as previously held in the case of Yong Vui Kong in 2010. The court was not prepared to review its previous decision despite changes to the mandatory death penalty regime in 2012 and failed to consider the evolving standards of customary international law that prohibit cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment. We have to live with another judgement that says that the Singapore constitution allows cruel and inhumane punishment and degrading treatment.

Mr Ravi also noted that the Court questioned Mr Joseph on why the application was made at the 11th hour. This is despite the fact that the Mr Chen was only instructed yesterday and the case was only brought to the attention of the local Anti-Death Penalty groups last week.

What was most disturbing was despite the court having put on notice that Chijioke’s counsel was only instructed yesterday, The court repeatedly kept asking why this application was made at the 11th hour.”

His imminent execution drew condemnation from International Organizations and local civil society groups. As this article went to press, the United Nations, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the European Union, Amnesty International, Thinkcentre, We Believe in Second Chances and the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign, to name a few, have all released statements calling for the Singapore Government to halt his execution. Most, if not all, statements raise the issue of the unprecedented amount of time spent on death row and the fact that Chijioke had consistently maintained his innocence – to the point that he initially turned down a chance for re-sentencing for fear that it may be perceived as an admission of guilt. Some have also raised the issue of Chijioke being executed for Marijuana – a substance that is being legalised, for both medicinal and recreational purposes, in many cities and countries around the world.

The United Nations

Under international law, the death penalty may only be used for “the most serious crimes” which has been interpreted to mean only crimes involving intentional killing. Drug-related offences do not fall under the threshold of “most serious crimes”. Furthermore, under domestic law, the death penalty is not mandatory for drug-related offences.

“The death penalty is not an effective deterrent relative to other forms of punishment nor does it protect people from drug abuse,” said Laurent Meillan, the acting regional representative of the UN Human Rights Office. “The focus of drug-related crime prevention should involve strengthening the justice system and making it more effective.”

The European Union

The EU, Norway and Switzerland hold a principled position against the death penalty and are opposed to the use of capital punishment under any circumstances. The death penalty has not been shown in any way to act as a deterrent to crime. Furthermore, any errors – inevitable in any legal system – are irreversible. The EU, Norway and Switzerland will continue in their pursuit of the abolition of the death penalty worldwide.


FIDH, a member of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP), reiterates its strong opposition to the death penalty for all crimes and in all circumstances. FIDH calls on the Singaporean government to reinstate the moratorium on executions that was lifted in July 2014, and to make progress towards the abolition of capital punishment for all crimes. FIDH also urges Singapore to vote in favor of the upcoming UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution – due to be voted on in December 2016 – that calls for a moratorium on executions.


“Following legal advice that he would not qualify as a “courier” under the amended laws, Chijioke withdrew his application. This led to the lifting of the stay of execution on 24 October 2016 and the setting of the execution date. His family has also been informed on 16 November 2016, two days before his scheduled execution, that his second clemency petition has been rejected by the State. They have been unable to make their way to Singapore over the years and are heartbroken by the news.”

We Believe in Second Chances

“We also note that Chijioke has endured a very long period of 9 years in prison, much of it on death row. He is very far away from home, and has not been able to see his family in this time. We understand that death row inmates are kept in their cells for 23 hours a day, with only about a hour of ‘yard time’. We cannot underestimate the extreme psychological toll of being stuck on death row, facing imminent execution in such conditions.”

Chijioke’s family, who have not been able to visit him since 2007, will not be in Singapore to collect his remains tomorrow. His younger brother shares the ordeals his family members went through during Chijioke’s incarceration.

Chijioke Stephen Obioha is like a twin to me even though he is my elder brother. A whole part of the family has been missing since that date in 2007. He is a brother among all my brothers that loves to help, makes sure people around him are fine and would help as much as he can to assist friends and family.

Hard working and industrious, our family miss that brother, son and uncle who always love to see our family united and happy. Educated brother and skilful in playing soccer, which was one of his dreams in Singapore. It was an unforgettable shock for the family to hear of his link to such case. I have always been in constant contact with him since his stay in prison and he has always kept to his stance of innocence.

A lot of both financial and physical effort has been made by our family towards his defence in previous years but due to lack of fund and restricted access to Singapore, it was difficult to carry on with his desire towards a defence lawyer. He carried on with a lot of government appointed defence counsel even though he was not satisfied with their efforts and we, the family, were not satisfied as well with the level of communication between us and his defence team. We were put in the dark for a very long while. We resorted to the voice of the public via Amnesty international, which I contacted from United Kingdom. My brother deserves to live. His life is precious to us.”

Nigerian man, wife docked for duping American company.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned a man and his wife before a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja for obtaining $102,550 from an American company under the pretext of helping the company to win a federal government contract.

The man, Austine Ezeama, his wife, Juliet, and a company, Mabrubeni Nigeria Limited, were on
Wednesday arraigned before Justice O. H. Oshodi on a seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence.

According to the charge sheet, the accused allegedly obtained $30,570 from CIFERCOM LLC under the pretence that the money was for its registration as a company in Nigeria, preparatory to the award of a $8 million contract to the company by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Both accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecution counsel, V. O. Agboje, asked for a trial date and also requested the accused be remanded in prison.

But the defence counsel, D. C. Nkemdirum, made an application for their bail, which he said had been served the prosecution since October 10.

Justice Oshodi remanded the defendants in EFCC custody and adjourned the matter till November 21 for hearing of the bail application.

The American company had lodged a complaint with the EFCC after it was tricked into paying $102,550 as processing fees for the non-existent contract.

According to the commission, the suspects in January 2015 convinced CIFERCOM LLC to come to Nigeria for the $8million contract to be facilitated by ranking officials in the country.

Mr. Ezeama was said to have introduced his wife, Juliet Ezeama, as a Federal Government agent, who served as intermediary between them.

“After a series of communication through emails, several fees were required from the complainant to facilitate the business. Eventually the sum of $102,550 was paid to Mabrubeni Nigeria Limited owned by the Ezeamas”, the EFCC stated.

Sometime in May 2015, Mr. Ezeama was said to have further informed the complainant that the new President of Nigeria wanted the project extended to cover the whole country with a new cost of $120 Million, and that the victim was expected to pay additional $650,000.00 before June 10, 2015.

After waiting without receiving any contract, the complainant became apprehensive and approached the EFCC through his solicitors for investigation into the matter.

Nigerian parliament rejects bill to make history compulsory subject in schools.

Nigerian lawmakers on Thursday threw out a bill seeking to make history a core learning subject in the nation’s primary and secondary schools.

The proposed legislation was rejected by the House of Representatives after members raised concerns about the implication of a language in it.

The bill, titled “A Bill for an Act to Make History a Core School Subject in Nigeria’s Primary and Secondary Schools and for other Related Matters,” was proposed by Ayodeji Oladimeji from Oyo State.

Mr. Oladimeji said he crafted the bill to address widespread ignorance of Nigerian history – and even major historical events around the world – among Nigerians in primary and secondary schools.

“I have a secretary who did not even know anything about former Head of State, Murtala Muhammed,” Mr. Oladimeji, an APC member, said. “Colleagues, we need to do something about this situation because history is highly essential for nation building.”

But Mr. Oladimeji’s proposal quickly met an opposition, first in the person of Zakari Mohammed and later from other lawmakers.

Mr. Mohammed, an APC lawmaker from Kwara, said the word ‘core’ in the heading of the bill was problematic and blocked it from passing a second reading.

“I know it’s important for a people to know their history, but the word ‘core’ in the title of the bill is somehow,” Mr. Zakari said.

His position was later echoed by a few other lawmakers who demanded the bill be stepped down —even when they spoke highly of its importance.

The opposing lawmakers further stated that the parliament does not need to pass a bill strictly for the purpose of mandating history.

They said other key subjects such as English and mathematics are being taught in schools without special legislative backing.

But Mr. Oladimeji said he proposed the bill because he understood that history used to be in Nigeria’s early education curriculum but had since been removed.

The Nigerian government reportedly removed history from key subjects in schools in 2009.

Mr. Oladimeji said enacting the adoption of history into law should make it stringent for education administrators to expunge from the curriculum.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara, nonetheless, overruled Mr. Oladimeji’s prayers and urged him to go and rework the bill.

The defeated proposal came on the heels of relentless calls by academics for history to be restored into the curriculum for pupils.

In August, Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, decried the removal of history which he believed would result in a lack of adequate education for teenagers.

“I learnt not so long ago that history has been taken off the curriculum in this country. Can you imagine that? History?” Mr. Soyinka, a professor, said. “What is wrong with history? Or maybe I should ask, what is wrong with some people’s head?”

Amnesty International Moves To Stop Nigerian’s Execution In Singapore

Amnesty International (AI) has called on the president of Singapore to intervene in the case a Nigerian, Chijioke Stephen Obioha, who is facing death sentence in the Asian country.
A statement emailed to Daily Trust by AI’s Media Manager in Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, said the execution of Obioha has been set for 18 November after he was convicted of drug trafficking.
The statement added that the convict has applied to the president of Singapore for a new clemency after an earlier one was rejected in 2015.
AI urged the president to immediately halt Obioha’s execution and grant him amnsety, saying drug-related offences do not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes.”
Obioha, a graduate of Industrial Chemistry from University of Benin, was convicted on 30 December 2008 after he moved to Singapore in 2005, seeking to join a football club.
Credit: dailytrust

Navy Arrests Three Cameroonians, Nigerian Over Oil Theft

The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, has apprehended three Cameroonians and a Nigerian with 66 drums containing 250 litres each of product suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit.

The suspects include Kokah Ekema, 38; Money Francis, 27; Nako Otto, 25; and a Nigerian, Who-Knows Nya, 30 years.

The Commanding Officer of the base, Navy Captain Siyanbade Adedokun, who paraded the suspects before journalists in Ibaka on Tuesday, said one Cotonou wooden boat equipped with two 40 horsepower outboard engines had also been seized from the suspects.

Adedokun stated that all the suspects would be handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

“We have arrested three Cameroonians and one Nigerian with 66 drums of 250 litres of product suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit. All the suspects will be handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

“The more we patrol, the more we make the maritime environment safe for legitimate business to thrive and at the same time we try to patrol our waterways, basically concerning the strategic nature of the base, just very close to an international water.

“It is a very strategic place to police so that we won’t have people from neighbouring countries coming to perpetrate illegality in the country,” he said.

Adelakun, who frowned at the sabotaging manner exhibited by the criminals regarding the economy, added that the Navy’s standard strategy would not allow them any breathing space.

He, however, attributed the success recorded to frequent patrol of the nation’s waterways and creeks, based on credible information.

The state commandant of the NSCDC, Obiajulu Obiageli, who received the suspects from the Navy, praised the commanding officer for working hard to protect the territorial integrity of the country.

She noted that the trend would also sustain business activities in the maritime sector.

Obiageli, who was represented by the Chief Inspector of the corps, Victor Uweh, assured the Navy that the corps would carry out its statutory mandate by investigating the suspects.

She noted that if the suspects are found culpable, they would face the wrath of the law.



Report Claims Nigerian Security Officials Are Sexually Exploiting Women, Girls Displaced By Boko Haram

Government officials and other authorities in Nigeria have raped and sexually exploited women and girls displaced by the conflict with Boko Haram, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

The rights group said in a statement that the government was not doing enough to protect displaced women and girls and ensure that they have access to basic rights and services or to sanction the abusers, who include camp leaders, vigilante groups, policemen, and soldiers.

Human Rights Watch said in July, it documented sexual abuse, including rape and exploitation, of 43 women and girls living in seven internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The victims had been displaced from several Borno towns and villages, including Abadam, Bama, Baga, Damasak, Dikwa, Gamboru Ngala, Gwoza, Kukawa, and Walassa. In some cases, the victims had arrived in the under-served Maiduguri camps, where their movement is severely restricted after spending months in military screening camps.

“It is bad enough that these women and girls are not getting much-needed support for the horrific trauma they suffered at the hands of Boko Haram,” said Mausi Segun, senior Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch. “It is disgraceful and outrageous that people who should protect these women and girls are attacking and abusing them.”

Four of the victims told Human Rights Watch that they were drugged and raped, while 37 were coerced into sex through false marriage promises and material and financial assistance.

Many of those coerced into sex said they were abandoned after they became pregnant. They and their children have suffered discrimination, abuse, and stigmatization from other camp residents. Eight of the victims said they were previously abducted by Boko Haram fighters and forced into marriage before they escaped to Maiduguri, the group said.

Women and girls abused by members of the security forces and vigilante groups – civilian self-defense groups working with government forces in their fight against Boko Haram – told Human Rights Watch they feel powerless and fear retaliation if they report the abuse.

 A 17-year-old girl said that just over a year after she fled the frequent Boko Haram attacks in Dikwa, a town 56 miles west of Maiduguri, a policeman approached her for “friendship” in the camp, and then he raped her.

“One day he demanded to have sex with me,” she said. “I refused but he forced me. It happened just that one time, but soon I realized I was pregnant. When I informed him about my condition, he threatened to shoot and kill me if I told anyone else. So I was too afraid to report him.”

Read More:


Nigerian Launches Crowdfunding Campaign To Help Reuben Abati

In apparent attempt to mock Reuben Abati, a man, Ettu Mohammed, on Sunday opened a fundraising campaign on Gofundme.com on his behalf.

The man asked Nigerians to “please save Reuben Abati from EFCC.”

He said the former presidential spokesperson was influenced by “Aso Rock evil spirits” to collect N50 million from former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Mr. Abati, former spokesperson to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, was arrested by EFCC operatives on Monday over allegations he illicitly received N50 million from the former NSA.

Although Mr. Abati was offered administrative bail that requires presenting a senior federal civil servant – preferably a director – with landed properties in Abuja, EFCC sources said he had been unable to meet the bail conditions.

Read More:


Nigerian Emerges UK’s Most Powerful Black Person

A Nigerian, Tom Ilube, has emerged the United Kingdom’s most powerful black man.

Ilube, who’s also a British citizen, was unveiled as the most powerful black man in the country by Powerlist, a publication which selects 100 of the most powerful people of African and African Caribbean heritage.

Powerlist explained that competitors were judged on their “ability to change lives and alter events, as demonstrated over a protracted period of time and in a positive manner.”

An independent panel of judges led by Dame Linda Dobbs, a former high court judge, and Michael Eboda, a publisher, recommended him, after which he was announced.

Ilube, 53, who was born in Isleworth, west London, to a Nigerian father, schooled at the University of Benin, Edo State, where he bagged a B.Sc Physics. He later obtained an MBA at Cass Business School in London.

After graduation, several efforts to get a job all ended in frustration. He applied and was rejected for a graduate trainee scheme at McDonald’s “for not being good enough”.

But he didn’t give up. He sent applications to every company starting with the letter A and was turned down again and again, so he started working through the Bs and ended up working for British Airways as a programmer. He later worked at the London Stock Exchange in the 1980s, where he was one of few black professionals. He was able to work his way to the top.

Ilube is renowned for his outstanding work in education. He founded Hammersmith Academy, which opened in September 2011 and has gone on to become one of the UK’s most innovative technology schools.

A philanthropist, he set up African Gifted Foundation, to help transform the lives of hundreds of children on the continent.

Earlier this year, he opened the African Science Academy (ASA), Africa’s first girls-only science and technology school, based in Ghana, with young women scientists attending from Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

Though a fee-paying school, ASA provides scholarships for students with financial needs.

The academy which is driving Africa’s development by inspiring and unleashing the next generation of gifted scientists and engineers, aims to admit over 200 students a year.

Commenting on the institution, he said: “I am convinced that we have brilliant young women in African who have the potential to be tomorrow’s world class scientists and engineers.

“Launching the African Science Academy is the highlight of all my work in education over the past decade. I am convinced that we have brilliant young women in African who have the potential to be tomorrow’s world class scientists and engineers.”

Ilube, who has established several successful technology companies, has a vast experience. He served as the chief executive officer of Crossword Cybersecurity Plc and served as its chairman of the board until September 1, 2016.

He was the managing director at Callcredit Limited and Consumer Markets at Callcredit Information Group Limited. He also founded Garlik Ltd. and served as its chief executive officer. Ilube co-founded Lost Wax in 1996 and served as its chief executive officer, where he took an active role in the business development. He served as chief information officer of Egg plc. Ilube has over 25 years of commercial systems delivery experience with a range of blue chip organizations, including Goldman Sachs, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, London Stock Exchange, British Airways and Cap Gemini. He served as Overall programme manager for the initial launch of Egg financial services. He is a highly regarded board level adviser and inspirational speaker on e-commerce issues and technology trends. He currently serves as a director of Crossword Cybersecurity Plc and Callcredit Limited.

On his latest recognition, he said: “I’m incredibly proud of all of our Powerlistees this year and over the past 10 years in which we’ve published the magazine. Tom isn’t a household name, but quietly behind the scenes, he has had an incredible effect on the lives of so many people across the world.”



EU Set To Send Nigerian Migrants Home.

The European Union (EU) and Nigeria will start formal talks in Abuja this week

– The talks will centre on a deal to send Nigerian migrants in Europe back home
– It is part of the EU’s latest move to stem the exodus of Africans to Europe

A report by Financial times have revealed that a delegation of 15 EU officials will arrive Nigerian capital, Abuja this week to discuss plans to direct private European money to infrastructure projects in Nigeria.

Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama is expected to lead the talks from the Nigerian side.

This is part of a longer term goal to raise up to 60billion euros of private funds to stem migration from nations including Nigeria.

Diplomats quoted in the report say the move is aimed at addressing not only the ramifications of migration in Europe, but also dealing with the root causes of migration especially from Africa.

The EU has already outlined plans to retarget about 8billion euros during the next four years to help countries with large numbers of would-be migrants.

No Plan To Reduce Nigerian Flights- Lufthansa

An international carrier, Lufthansa Airline, yesterday said it had no plan to reduce its flight operations in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the airline’s Media Consultant, Mr. Hakeem Jimoh, made the disclosure to aviation correspondents in Lagos.

Two foreign airlines, Emirates and Kenya Airways , recently announced the suspension of their flights to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

While Emirates Airlines said it would stop flights to Abuja from October 22, Kenya Airways said its flights to the nation’s capital would be suspended from November 15.
Both airlines attributed the decision to the economic downturn in the country, foreign exchange challenges, and the shrinking passenger traffic.

Jimoh said Lufthansa Airline, which operates flights to Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt International Airports, would not be following a similar path for now.

“Yes, there has been challenges, particularly with the issue of forex, but I can tell you that Lufthansa has no plan for now to reduce flight operations in Nigeria,” he said.

Jimoh said Lufthansa had been operating in Nigeria for over 50 years, adding that the country was important to the airline’s operation, especially in West Africa.

The efforts of the current administration in the aviation sector have received a boost with the coming in of Airbus Group of France to set up an office in Nigeria.

Read More: thisdaylive

Yahoo Yahoo: “I went to Nigeria to meet the man who scammed me.” – Maria Grette

When Maria Grette first discovered that the 58-year-old Danish man with whom she had fallen in love was actually a 24-year-old Nigerian 419 internet scammer, the 62-year-old Swede was distraught. But, soon, her feelings changed.

“The most terrible thing was not that he had cheated me, but that he had lost his innocence,” she said.

She became consumed with what she describes as “a profound need to make a difference to the people of Nigeria”.

Ms Grette’s relationship with Johnny (not his real name) began after an evening of fun and games with her girlfriends, during which they playfully created a profile for her on an online dating website. A few years before, she had gone through a traumatic divorce, and her friends teased her about finally starting a new relationship.

But when the fun of creating her profile was over, Ms Grette, who works as an arts teacher, painter and arts therapist, didn’t give much further thought to the website.

“I received messages telling me that people had contacted me, but I never looked at them,” she said.

Then, one day, she did.

“I still don’t know why,” she said. “It was like a sudden impulse happening before I could stop it.”

That particular message was from a man who described himself as a Dane raised in South Carolina, USA; a civil engineer working on a contract in England; a widower with a son in a Manchester university.

“I was caught up by the atmosphere and by something in his words,” she said.

The pre-amble

Johnny: “I wish I could see through your eyes and see what you like to see”

Maria: “I like to see the truth, and often the truth is more beautiful and greater than people dare to realize”

Johnny: “You talk in parable´s. I can´t wait to see you”

Maria: “I cant understand how you can think so dedicated of me, when you have never met me. That scares me.”

“We spent some time writing, then he called from a UK number.”

Ms Grette, who had lived in different countries across Europe, was surprised that she could not place the man’s accent. She mentioned this to him but didn’t give it too much thought.

He told her that he was planning for his retirement; had Sweden in mind for a place to settle; owned a house in Denmark inherited from his parents; wanted to leave that to his son, Nick, who was very attached to it, while he looked for a new home for himself in Sweden.

“I wanted to meet him because I liked him,” she said. “He had a way and a sweetness I had never known in a man before. And he was innocent in a way that puzzled me.”

Ms Grette put all these qualities down to “an old fashioned upbringing and an isolated life – living in hotels and spending his free time on golf courses owing to much travelling”.

After three months of communicating, the man agreed to come over and visit her in Sweden. But before that, he and his son needed to make a quick trip to Nigeria for a job interview, he said.

Johnny called to let her know that he was at Heathrow Airport. And to say that he had landed in Nigeria. He also got her to speak with Nick. The next phone call was to tell her that he was in a Lagos hospital.

They had been mugged, his son shot in the head, and they were without money and papers.

Unfortunately, his bank did not have a branch in Africa, he added, so it would take time to transfer money from his UK account. Meanwhile, the hospital management was requesting €1000 to proceed with treatment.

The request

“Honey, I am in the hospital right now using the doctor´s laptop to send you this message so you can know my situation. Honey, if Nick dies I will also die with him, I have been crying, I wish I could call you, I wish I never came here, I will never forgive myself for bringing Nick along with me. I will call you with the doctor´s phone and send you an email later if I have the chanse.

“Honey, I am happy to hear from you and I am still at the hospital. The doctor said we where lucky we where not kidnapped. The bank does not have a location in Africa, so it will take time to get money and the management are requesting 1000 euros to proceed with treatment. Nick is all I have got and I will not forgive myself if anything happens to him. I am confused, and I do not know where to turn at the moment……”

“I will never forget how I rushed to the Western Union office, trembling while I did the transfer,” Ms Grette said.

“All I could think of was to get the two persons in Nigeria out of danger.”

The plot developed after that initial transfer. Medical complications called for more money. The doctors demanded more advance fees.

Several thousands of euro later, in what she describes as “coming to her senses”, Maria realised that something was amiss.

She stopped responding to his messages

Three weeks after her silence, he called her and confessed. He told her that he was not who she thought he was.

“I said I already knew that. I asked him to tell me his true identity and he did.”

He was a 24-year-old Nigerian 419 scammer. He had finished university two years earlier but had no job.

He further described himself as a “devil” who had wronged “a lovely woman”.

“He said he had never met anyone like me before, that he had been fighting his feelings for me for a long time. He said his scamming mates had warned him about falling in love with a ‘client’, that he had ignored them because he trusted me and did not want to lose contact with me.”

The reveal

From this point on, their communication took a new turn. There were no further requests for cash.

“The attraction I started feeling was to the person who was revealing himself to me… It was still him, but with a new name and different age and circumstances,” she said.

Johnny sent her a photograph of himself, but Maria was not satisfied with that.

“I wanted to meet him,” she said. “I could not live with this relationship unless it was adjusted to reality in all senses.”

Unable to get him a visa to travel to Sweden, she made up her mind to go to Nigeria.

In October 2009, Ms Grette travelled to Africa for the first time in her life.

“When I saw him at the airport in Abuja, tears fell over his face, and I knew I had known him all my life.”

Ms Grette described her two weeks in Nigeria as blissful, a period during which she and Johnny succeeded in transforming their romantic feelings for each other into a good friendship.

She met his friends, many of whom were also scammers. It was while enjoying their company one night in a local bar that she began to wonder how she could make a difference.

“I asked myself what I could do to prevent a situation where healthy, good young men fall into this trap,” she said.

An idea came to her two years later, in 2011, after she saw an article on a Nigerian news website about an arts exhibition.

Over the past six years, Ms Grette has arranged for a number of African artists to visit Europe for arts exhibitions, workshops, conferences and competitions.

She has assisted them to source international grants and other funding to advance their work.

She has also visited Uganda to give talks on art, and is looking forward to another visit to Nigeria scheduled for later this year.

Ms Grette, now 69 and living in Norway, is elated at the opportunity to improve the lives of these young artists.

“Johnny has given me more than he took,” she said, “Without him, I would not have met Africa.”

When she’d visited him in Abuja, Johnny promised Ms Grette that he would give up scamming.

With her assistance, he left Nigeria shortly afterwards, to study in America.

Although they have not met each other again since, she continued to provide him with financial assistance until he completed his degree a few years ago and got a job in the American oil sector.

They still communicate frequently, updating themselves on each other’s lives; and last year, he bought one of her paintings which she shipped over to him in America.

“He is very dear to me,” she said.

“He has asked me so many times to forgive him and I told him that the most important thing is to forgive himself.”

Mfonobong Nsehe: 5 Business Lessons From Nigerian Oil Multimillionaire Muhammadu Indimi

Nigerian oilman Muhammadu Indimi is one of Africa’s most successful businessmen. Indimi, who has a net worth of $500 million according to FORBES Magazine’s 2015 ranking of Africa’s richest people, is the founder of Oriental Energy Resources, a leading privately owned Nigerian oil exploration and production company. Oriental, which he founded in 1990, has three projects offshore of Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

His current status in Nigerian society is a far cry from his origins. Born in Maiduguri, northern Nigeria in 1947, Indimi had a deprived childhood. His father was a poor hides and skin trader and the young Indimi could not get a formal education because his father could barely afford it. At a very young age, Indimi was forced to take over his father’s business. Indimi says it was the springboard to the success he enjoys today.

Indimi, who is currently working on his memoirs ahead of his 70th birthday next year, rarely grants interviews to the media. He recently invited me over for a chat in Abuja, Nigeria, where he offered a sneak peek into his memoirs, recounted his life story, and spent well over an hour sharing five of the most important lessons he has learned in business. I share the lessons here, in his own words:

  1. Learn Your Trade

In 1957, I was ten years old and I was working with my father in his hides and skins trading business. We collected the skins from the villages around Maiduguri – some of them as far as 200 km away. My father and I traveled by foot on seasonal roads, and later, I would go by bicycle. If it rained, and it could rain continuously for 10 to 15 days, the road overseers closed the roads with roadblocks. We carried food with us, but it could take a month to travel 100 km, so all our food would be finished. Sometimes we ate terrible things along the way, things like rats and frogs, because that was what was available. The road overseers would catch the rats in the bush and boil them and all we had to do was brush them to remove the skin, and eat them with salt.

Anyway, I soon learned that the most expensive skins for trading were leopard skins, followed by crocodile, anaconda, and sealskins. Cow skins were the cheapest, as well as sheep and goatskins, and these were sold by weight. Other skins, like the crocodile and anaconda, were valued by their width. Most animals were skinned and cut down the belly, but for crocodiles, the belly skin was what was valuable, so it had to be cut down the back and then stretched. These were some of the things I had to learn. Many villagers didn’t know how to stretch the skins, so my father and I would do it. First we put the skins into water to make them more flexible. Then we would punch holes in the edges using nails to hold it flat, and leave it overnight. The skin could stretch up to one or two feet more, which meant more money.

The skins were also graded. Grade 1 was the best: no markings and no puncture wounds; grades 2 and 3 followed. If there were a small puncture in the skin, we would sew it so the buyer wouldn’t know. I know now that this is wrong, and I looking back, I regret it. In any case, I learned everything I could learn about the hides and skins trading business and I am proud to say that I became a master in this business. While it was not an extremely profitable, it was my start in business and it would lead me on to greater things. It is important that you learn your trade completely.

2. Pay your debts

In 1963 when I was 16, I got my independence from my father. I wanted to be my own man, and since I had nowhere to sleep, I decided to pitch my tent at a friend’s house. My hides and skin business was struggling and I was struggling to make ends meet. One day at 6am, I heard a knock on the door. It was my father. He had borrowed £100 from a neighbor friend of his so that I could continue doing business on my own. My father was well trusted, so he was given the money without any paperwork.

In 1963, £100 was an incredible amount of money and I needed to pay off this loan or else my family’s credibility. He couldn’t pay it back himself, and if I couldn’t either, it would have been shameful. But I didn’t squander his gift. Everyday, I would come back from trading and balance my accounts. I kept trading hides and skins and I also bought some acreage to farm wheat. It took me a few years to finally pay off that loan but I eventually did. That earned me reputational capital among the big businessmen in Maiduguri at the time, and when I needed loans in the future, everyone was glad to support me.

3. Always keep your eyes open for opportunity

As time went on, I decided to expand my business activities from hides trading into selling clothes. I was around 20 at the time and this was during the period of the Biafran war. Because of the war, it was a bit challenging for me to get goods into northern Nigeria. So I started crossing the border to Cameroon to buy ready-made clothes to sell in Maiduguri. As my clothing business prospered, I began to look for the next business opportunity in order to grow my income. In 1973, there was a shortage of flour in Maiduguri. The state government at the time was importing flour and selling it at a subsidized rate to locals. I soon got information from a reliable friend that there was flour for sale in Sokoto state. Sokoto at the time had excess flour and so I got in touch with the Chief Commercial Officer of the Ministry of Commerce for Sokoto state, the organization that was handling the sale. I called him and told him that I was interested in buying all his flour and wanted to see him. We met up in Jos, and when he saw me, he was shocked to see a young man. I was 26 years old at the time. At first, he doubted my seriousness- especially because I wanted to buy 50,000 bags of flour which cost £300,000. He allocated the bags to me and since I didn’t have the money, I had to return to Maiduguri to raise the money from some of the leading business people of the time. I eventually transported the bags of flour from Sokoto to Maiduguri and made a £50,000 profit on that one deal. £50,000 is not a lot of money today, but in those days it was a big deal.

4. Diversify your operations and take your business to the next level

In 1979, Nigeria was transitioning from a military to civilian government and President Olusegun Obasanjo commissioned the South Chad Irrigation Project. A pumping station was built with canals from Lake Chad. Three months before the station was to open, the water pulled back and the pumping station was left hanging. It was a very embarrassing situation. An engineer friend of mine was the project manager. He came to me and told me there was a company in Florida that was building mobile water pumps. Since I had been traveling abroad to Europe, he thought I could go to America to buy the pumps and bring them back to Nigeria.

I had never been to America, but I asked him how many pumps he needed. Within 48 hours, I was in the U.S.A. In those days, getting an American visa was not as tedious as it is now. I swiftly went to the American consulate in Kaduna and got my Visa, then went to Lagos and flew PanAM to New York, and connected to Florida.

I bought 30 pumps worth $1.3 million. To transport them, I rented an Antonov, a big Russian cargo plane. We filled the entire canal with water using the new pumps. The President of Nigeria commissioned publications about the irrigation pump projects for publicity purposes, and soon everyone wanted to do the same thing. I quickly set up an agency so that no one could sell the water pumps except for me. Six years later, I built the first irrigation pump factory in Maiduguri. It became an extremely successful venture and that was when I started making real money.

Read More: Forbes

Nigerian Man Deported from Kenya Twice Over Alleged Drug Trafficking Arrested Again in Nairobi

Police in Nairobi, Kenya have arrested a suspected Nigerian drug lord, Emmanuel Peter Inobemhe. According to Kenyan media, Inobemhe who was deported from Kenya in 2013 on Presidential orders, was arrested by police officers in Kayole Estate, Nairobi yesterday Wednesday Sept. 28th.

The Police boss at Kayole police command, Ali Nuno, said Inobemhe had been deported twice from Kenya over drug issues and wondered how he came back to the country.


“He says he used Namanga border on both occasions and that is what we want to know how and why. He had been deported in June 2013 before he sneaked back four months later,” said Nuno.

Inobemhe and another Nigerian, Anthony Chinedu (pictured above), were arrested in 2013 for their involvement in trafficking of hard drugs. Following a Presidential order, Inobemhe, Chinedu and other Nigerians were deported for being in the country illegally.

Inobemhe later sneaked back into the country three months later but was arrested in Donholm estate with a Kenyan woman. When he was arrested, he revealed that he came to the country from Tanzania via the Namanga border.

Nigerian Student Wins British Petroleum Prize Award For Best Project

Ignatius Akpabio, an Indigene of Akwa Ibom state, has won the British Petroleum Prize for the best project on the course at the School of Computing Science and Digital Media’s 2016 Annual Awards Ceremony of the Robert Gordon University, UK.

A Nigerian Masters student who has graduated with distinction from Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen is also celebrating picking up an industry prize for his academic performance.

Ignatius Akpabio (23),graduated with an MSc in IT for the Oil and Gas Industry in July, and was awarded the BP prize for the best project on the course at the School of Computing Science and Digital Media’s annual awards ceremony.

Ignatius said:

“I feel very excited to have won this prize as I didn’t expect it and I’m very grateful to the best project supervisor anyone can have, Dr Iain Pirie, for been very supportive of me during the implementation of my MSc project.”

Ignatius decided to embark on the course due to its unique nature in the higher education sector, as well as the growing importance of the oil and gas industry in his home country.

“Oil and gas being the major source of GDP in Nigeria means that the future of the country might well depend on the sector,” he said. “I’m a strong proponent of the ‘Nigeria of Tomorrow’ and therefore, in every possible way I want to contribute my own quota to the development of my country.

“Coming from an IT background, I would like to use IT to develop and improve the oil and gas sector.”

Ignatius developed an inventory management system for an oil and gas servicing company as part of his MSc project, which was able to monitor and ensure effective management of goods to and from the warehouses and also record sales and purchases of goods while automatically updating stock levels with each transaction.

He said: “Implementing the system was very challenging as it consists of a lot of functionalities. It was developed as a web application to aid authorised access from anywhere around the world as long as there is connection to the internet.”

Ignatius added: “The MSc course content itself is a very rich one which encompasses modules from core oil and gas engineering, petroleum geoscience and information technology.

“I have found my time at RGU very rewarding and the School, alongside dedication on my part, has helped me improve on my software development skills.

“Thanks to lecturers like Dr David Lonie and Dr Angela Siegel, I found software development very interesting and this enabled me to excel exceedingly well in both modules.”

Despite offers to stay back abroad, Akpabio has resolved to return home to pursue the Nigerian dream!

Nigerian Landlord In Ghana Dies In Tenant’s Room After Sex

A Nigerian landlord has been discovered dead in a female tenant’s room in Accra, Ghana after the two had allegedly had sex. StarrFM reports that 24 year old Cynthia Nubuor is being held by the Adenta Police command over the matter.

In a statement to the Police, Ms. Nubuor said she left the deceased, Achi Ogu, who is a Nigerian, in her room for work Thursday afternoon after he had forcibly had sex with her. She said she left a note asking him to lock her door if he wakes up from his sleep.

According to the Adenta Police, they received a distress call around 8:30pm and rushed to the scene only to recover the body of the deceased from the room where he died.

The body has since been deposited at the Police hospital mortuary for an autopsy to be conducted into the actual cause of death.

Pregnant Nigerian Woman Brutally Attacked and Robbed After Going Into Labour In London

Police today, August 24th, released an e-fit of mugger who attacked a Nigerian woman while she was in labour. The suspect punched her in the face and stole her phone as she tried to call her family.
On June 26th, Patience Chukwu, 40, had left her home in north London to take a bus to hospital and was having contractions when the man swiped her Samsung Galaxy from her hands.

“I took out my phone to call my sister and tell her I was on the way to the hospital when the boy came up to me. He stood in front of me and I thought he was about to ask for directions. He was standing there staring at me and then he snatched the phone from me. As he grabbed it, I grabbed him by the hood. I was trying to recover the phone. He just hit me. He went to hit me in the stomach, so I bent double and the blow hit me in the face.”
The attacker got on his BMX to flee but Ms Chukwu grabbed him. “He was dragging me and I was screaming,” she said.

“Then he hit me for a third time and I went blind for a short time. So I let go and he was gone.

“It was horrifying. I sat there afterwards shaking and shivering”
Ms Chukwu was initially treated on the street by police after the assault, which took place on a Sunday at about 10am in Leadale Road, Stamford Hill. She was taken to Homerton hospital, where medics took her into theatre for a Caesarean section after being unable to detect her child’s heartbeat.
Her son, Kamsi Kishi, was born hours later with complications. He suffers from seizures, which police today said are a result of the attack.
Ms Chukwu was not able to visit her child, now eight weeks old, until the next morning and could not take him home for a week while doctors kept him under observation.
Police have now released an e-fit of the suspect. Investigating officer Detective Inspector Paul Ridley admitted:
“The e-fit is our last line of enquiry. We’ve exhausted everything else. We’re appealing for information from friends, relatives and even criminal associates. Given the nature of the act, I’m sure a lot of criminals would have been shocked. We have a woman on the brink of giving birth subjected to an attack like that in broad daylight just for her mobile phone.”
The suspect is described as a thin black man aged between 18 and 21 with short dark hair. At the time of the attack, he was wearing a green hooded jumper. Ms Chukwu, who also has a four-year-old daughter, Kika, said:
“I didn’t expect that a heavily pregnant woman in labour would be robbed. My belly would have been huge. As he was robbing me I was begging him, ‘Please, I’m in labour, please’.
“That boy is wicked and I want  them to catch him before he attacks someone else.”
Ms Chukwu also thanked members of the Jewish neighbourhood watch group Shomrim who rushed to her aid following the ordeal. Pinchas Paksher, who was first on the scene to help the woman shortly after the attack, said:
“The thief was heartless, targeting the most vulnerable in society, the victim was on the phone seeking help to arrange transport to hospital when her phone was snatched. I urge anyone with information to call police or Crimestopper”


Nigerian Teenager Hacked To Death With A Machete In London

Parents of Andre Aderemi, a Nigerian teenager who was brutally macheted 20 times after being pursued by three others carrying machetes, at Monks Hills estate, Selsdon, Croydon, have pleaded for an end to the cycle of violence on the capital’s streets.


The 19-year old boy later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital and died. The stabbings may be gang related because many of those he fraternised with have been killed in a similar fashion. Andre was friends with Myron Isaac Yarde, a 17-year-old rapper who was fatally stabbed in New Cross in April.


Aderemi was an ex-pupil at John Ruskin College in Croydon, and an amateur rapper said to be friends with two other young musicians stabbed to death in south London in the past three months.  He is also said to have performed with 16-year-old Leoandro Osemeke, known as Showkey, stabbed to death outside a party in Peckham on August 5.


An eye witness, Rebecca Shaw, 18, said she heard “screams” after the terrifying attack in Selsdon, Croydon. She said: “Andre’s mother came running down the road. He was on the floor screaming out for her. I heard the screams and lots of people came running to him. They tried to give him CPR and put pressure on the wounds.”


And another onlooker added: “I saw Andre running for his life and three others were coming up behind him. They were just chasing him and not shouting. They chased him behind a row of shops. I called the police, as I knew if they got to him he’d be done. They were armed with machetes about a foot long. I was told Andre was stabbed 20 times.”


More than 100 friends and relatives of Andre Aderemi, 19, last night gathered for a memorial church service on the Croydon estate where he was murdered on Tuesday.


His mother Yemi Hughes told the congregation: “I’ve lost my baby. He’s my everything, my rock… my other two boys are broken.”


Tragic Andre is the eighth teenager to be stabbed to death in London this year.

Nigerian Refugees ‘Brainwashed’ By Boko Haram To Become Suicide Bombers Head For Europe- Report

Thousands of Nigerian refugees indoctrinated in Boko Haram camps are heading to Europe’s shores as a famine intensifies, security sources have warned.

Five children are dying an hour with 250,000 at risk of starvation while parliament remains hamstrung in a political wrangle.

Despite being Africa’s oil-rich country Nigeria’s civil war with Islamic terrorists has left the north-east Borno region devastated with three million refugees.

Britain has committed to spending £860 million in foreign aid to Nigeria, which now boasts Africa’s largest economy, to help support the country’s efforts to crush Boko Haram terror group, which has been responsible for a spate of outrages, including the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls.

But intelligence sources report human traffickers from the ISIS-backed terror group are transporting girls and young men across the Sahara into Libya.

Some trained suicide bombers and militants are heading for Europe while others are travelling to fight for Islamic State in Syria.

‘They will soon start showing up on the Mediterranean’s shores,’ a source linked to Nigeria’s National Intelligence Agency said.

‘Some of these people are trained suicide bombers and fighters, including children as young as ten. They have all been indoctrinated by Boko Haram and they could soon turn up in Europe’s capitals.’

Meanwhile Nigeria’s parliament is struggling to pass legislation as President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration presses ‘politically motivated’ charges against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Read More: DailyMail

Nigeria Govt Blacklists Firm, Revokes Licence For Allegedly Diverting Explosives

The Federal Government on Thursday blacklisted the Nigerian Development and Construction Company (NDCC), an importer and seller of explosives in Koko, Delta State, for allegedly diverting explosives.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi, who gave the blacklisting order said the company’s business premises should immediately be sealed off, in addition to the withdrawal of its explosive distribution licences.

The action by the government followed the outcome of investigations by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), which revealed that the company was involved in illegal diversion of about 9,000 kilogramme of Nitro-glycerine explosives and 16,420 pieces of electrical detonators from its magazines between 2015 and 2016.

A statement from the minister’s office warned manufacturers, importers, sellers and end users of explosives in the country to desist from unprofessional activities, including the sale, procurement, storage and use of explosives in line with the provisions of the Explosives Act of 1964 , the Explosives Regulations of 1967 and other extant policy directives.

The Nigerian government has in recent years tightened its control on the distribution of explosives, as it fights a brutal insurgency by Boko Haram.

The group has killed thousands of people using suicide and car bombs since 2009.

Experts also believe that explosives, used legally by construction firms, are easily sourced by militants in the Niger Delta who attack oil and gas installations.

It is however unclear whether the decision to blacklist NDCC had to do with such security threat.


Source – Premium times

Police Nab South African Cocaine Trafficker’s Nigerian Accomplice

A Nigerian suspected of having sponsored a South African woman, Lerato Lekganyane, who was allegedly caught with 1.21 kilogrammes of cocaine at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport (MMIA), Lagos on May 20, has been arrested. 
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) disclosed this on Tuesday at Lekganyane’s trial before Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court, Lagos. 
The unnamed Nigerian man and Lekganyane will be arraigned, (she for the second time) before Justice Kuewumi on August 4.
Lekganyane was said to have been apprehended by NDLEA officials at the MMIA while attempting to board a Johannesburg, South Africa-bound plane with the illicit substance concealed in two packages inside her bra.
Prosecuting counsel, Mr. Augustine Nwagu, had told the court that Lekganyane acted contrary to Section 11(b) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The accused had earlier been arraigned and pleaded guilty to one count of cocaine trafficking pressed against her by the agency, after which Justice Babs Kuewumi adjourned till yesterday for review of the facts of the case and sentencing.
Yesterday, however, Nwagu informed the court that he needed to amend the charge sheet as Lekganyane’s accomplice, a Nigerian, had also been arrested and brought to court.
He said, trying Lekganyane and her accomplice would ensure smoothness of the trial.
“I was informed this morning that the person that sponsored her for this trip has been arrested and they even brought him to court this morning, but I told them that I could not file the charge now. I will be applying for a very short adjournment to enable me to amend the charge and join the second person that they have just arrested,” the prosecutor said.
Defence counsel, Chief (Mrs.) Lilian Omotunde opposed Nwagu’s application.
She said: “I am objecting to this application made by the prosecuting counsel in view of the fact that the matter was slated for review of facts today and the defendant has already pleaded guilty. She is a foreigner; she has accepted her guilt. I expected my colleague to have gone ahead for the review.
“A few minutes ago, I was informed that a Nigerian who is the mastermind is in court. If it pleases Your Lordship, I will be applying that we go ahead with the review of the case. My learned friend knows what to do with the mastermind that has just been arrested.”
In a short ruling, Justice Kuewumi said the prosecution was entitled to the right to amend its charge if it wished.
He adjourned till August 4, 2016 for further proceedings.

Credit: Nation

Indonesia To Execute Nigerian, Other Drug Convicts This Week

A group of drug convicts including foreigners will face the firing squad in Indonesia this week after authorities Tuesday gave notice of their executions, a diplomat said, despite protests from governments and rights groups.

Syed Zahid Raza, the deputy Pakistani ambassador in Jakarta, told AFP the convicts, who include a Pakistani, could be executed around midnight Friday after officials signalled the start of a 72-hour notice period at a meeting with diplomats.

Nationals from Pakistan, India, Nigeria and Zimbabwe are expected to be executed alongside Indonesians. Officials say no Europeans or Australians will be included in the third round of executions under President Joko Widodo.

Indonesia sparked international outrage with its last batch of executions in April 2015 when it put to death seven foreigners, including two Australians. But Widodo has insisted Jakarta is fighting a war against drugs and traffickers must be harshly punished.

Pakistan has so far publicly voiced the most concern about the upcoming executions, and its foreign ministry Tuesday summoned the Indonesian ambassador to Islamabad to convey their concerns about the case of their national, 52-year-old Zulfiqar Ali.

Activists say that Ali, sentenced to death in 2005 for heroin possession, was beaten and tortured into confessing and did not receive a fair trial. Rights groups have also called on Indonesia to halt the planned executions, citing worries about irregularities with some convictions.

Credit: Vanguard

Secret Papers Reveal Nigerian Oil Mogul’s Offshore Hideaways, Beyoncé Surfaces In Story

In September 2015, Beyoncé sat on a yacht drinking sparkling wine with her legs wrapped under a striped, earth-toned blanket as the Faraglioni rocks, near Capri on Italy’s west coast, passed by.

The singer and her husband, Jay Z, paid a reported $900,000 that week to sail the Mediterranean Sea on the Galactica Star, a 65-meter private cruiser with a helipad, 10 dining areas, Jacuzzi and sun deck.

Unknown to the celebrity couple, the yacht’s owner was soon to be a wanted man.

Held through a shell company created by the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers scandal, Mossack Fonseca, the yacht is now caught up in a massive investigation in Nigeria. The government claims the yacht was bought with profits from crude oil sales that were diverted and never paid to authorities.

The Galactica Star’s owner is Kolawole Aluko, a petroleum and aviation mogul who is one of four defendants accused of helping to cheat Nigeria out of nearly $1.8 billion owed to the government on massive sales of oil. In a separate investigation, Nigerian authorities are also reportedly probing whether Mr. Aluko helped smuggle millions of dollars out of the country as kickbacks to Nigeria’s former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Mr. Aluko is part of a constellation of Nigerian oil executives, state governors, cabinet ministers, military officials and tribal chiefs within the Panama Papers. Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-headquartered law firm with offices around the world, worked for three former Nigerian oil ministers who used companies to buy boats and homes in London, the records show.

The prevalence of Nigerians within the Panama Papers may be no coincidence. Nigeria loses more money from illicit activity, including graft and corporate tax abuse, than any other African nation, research by anti-corruption groups indicates. As much as 12 percent of Nigeria’s annual gross domestic product is lost to illicit financial flows, according to Oxfam.

“Our firm, like many firms, provides worldwide registered agent services for our professional clients (e.g., lawyers, banks, and trusts) who are intermediaries,” Mossack Fonseca told ICIJ. “As a registered agent we merely help incorporate companies, and before we agree to work with a client in any way, we conduct a thorough due-diligence process, one that in every case meets and quite often exceeds all relevant local rules, regulations and standards to which we and others are bound.”

Mossack Fonseca declined to answer specific questions and said, in providing its services, “we follow both the letter and spirit of the law. Because we do, we have not once in nearly 40 years of operation been charged with criminal wrongdoing.”In October 2015, London police questioned Mrs. Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s oil minister from 2010 to 2015, as part of investigations into allegations of bribery and money laundering. The investigations are ongoing. The ex-minister, who graduated with an architecture degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1992, is in London undergoing cancer treatment, her lawyers said.

Media reports have described Mr. Aluko as a key ally to Mrs. Alison-Madueke, a relationship both have previously denied. He rose to prominence around 2011 when Nigeria’s government awarded two companies he founded or owned valuable oil blocks on a no-bid basis. One of his companies, Atlantic Energy, was created the day before it inked the deals to acquire multimillion-dollar oil licenses.

Mr. Aluko is part of a circle of oil traders who are the subject of frequent media speculation in Nigeria. His lifestyle has earned him the reputation of being Nigeria’s playboy. He bought an apartment in Manhattan for $8.6 million and, according to The New York Times, paid more than $70 million to buy four homes in Santa Barbara and Beverly Hills.

The Nigerian government won a court order in May freezing assets linked to Mr. Aluko, two companies he directed and one of his business partners. The Lagos High Court order listed Mr. Aluko’s yacht along with property in London, four homes in California, two penthouses in Manhattan, one in Dubai, 132 houses and apartments in Nigeria and land in Canada and Switzerland. The court also ordered Mr. Aluko not to sell or dispose of more than $67 million in four bank accounts in London and Switzerland, an assortment of watches, a 58-car collection and three airplanes.

Through a representative, Mr. Aluko told ICIJ that “I have never been prosecuted and convicted in any country. I am aware that a criminal investigation was started in the UK. However, to date I have not been made aware of any law enforcement action to be undertaken against me.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Nigerian Victim Of S’Africa Xenophobia Seeks Compensation

Mr. Chika Emehelu, a 36-year-old Nigerian businessman in South Africa, yesterday appealed to the federal government to persuade the South African government to pay him compensation for the losses he incurred during the wave of xenophobic attacks in the country in 2013.
Emehelu, a native of Udi in Enugu State, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Johannesburg that he lost more than R800,000 (N12 million) in the May 2013 xenophobic attacks in that country.
The businessman, who is married to a South African and has three children, said his three shops at Portnolloth, a community in Northern Cape Province of South Africa, were looted during the attack.
Emehelu also said local authorities in the province came and took an inventory of the items stolen and destroyed, promising to pay him compensation.
He however said nothing had been done since then, adding that his family members were going through hard times.
Emehelu also said he had submitted all relevant documents to the South African authorities after the incident, adding that he was running a duly registered business outfit.
He also said officers from the Nigerian Mission in South Africa had visited his shops to take inventory.
Emehelu appealed to the federal government to remind the South African government to pay compensation to Nigerians who suffered losses during the xenophobic attacks.
“As I speak, I lost everything to the mob attack and I need government’s assistance to revive my business,” he said.
Mr. Ikechukwu Anyene, President of Nigeria Union in South Africa, said the body had compiled a list of Nigerians affected in the attacks and submitted it to the federal government through Nigeria’s consul general in the country.
Credit: Thisday

Nigerian Stock Market Gains 3.3% In First Six Months

The Nigerian stock market closed the first half of the year with a growth of 3.3 per cent compared with a decline of 3.2 per cent in the corresponding period of 2015. Although the market ended on a bearish noted yesterday, in all, it recorded a growth at the end of first six months of the year. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) closed at 29,597.79 on the last day of June, up from 28,642.25 at which it opened 2016.

Market capitalization added N314 billion, rising from N9.851 billion to close at N10.165 trillion yesterday. Analysts said but for the rebound the market recorded recently following positive reactions to the new flexible foreign exchange policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the market would have ended the first half on negative note just last like last year.

After a bearish trend caused by policy flip flops, exchange rate uncertainty and budget delay, the market rebounded two weeks back following the new forex, policy bringing the year-to-date(YTD) growth to the positive territory.

Reacting to the development then, analysts at InvestmentOne Limited had said: “In the immediate, while we expect the ongoing optimism regarding a possible shift to a market-determined exchange rate regime to support market performance. We see the impacts of these events on market performance. However, in the medium to longer term, we see improved performance on the back of efficiency gains from an expansionary fiscal policy leading to improvement in aggregate demand.”
However, profit taking set in reducing the YTD growth to 3.3 per cent yesterday.

The market closed with a decline of 0.7 per cent yesterday depressed mostly by Ecobank Transnational Incorpodated (-3.09 per cent), Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc( (-2.94 per cent), FBN Holdings Plc (-2.51 per cent), United Bank for Africa Plc(-2.08 per cent); Forte Oil (-1.90 per cent); Zenith Bank (-1.44 per cent); Nigerian Breweries (-1.44 per cent), Dangote Cement (-1.03 per cent)c among others.

According to analyst at Dunn Loren Merrifield, “the current market trend suggests that, optimism that the new CBN FX policy would bring relief to the market particularly on banking stocks is beginning to fade as investor remains sceptical about the policy sustainability and transparency.”

Credit: Thisday

Nigerian Lawmakers’ Immunity Proposal Satanic– Femi Falana

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has criticized a proposed life pension and immunity from prosecution for Bukola Saraki, the Senate President, and other presiding officers of the National Assembly.

In a statement Sunday, Mr. Falana described the proposal as insensitive, irrational, and immoral.

“Indeed, it is the height of insensitivity for legislators to propose life pension for their leaders at a time that workers are owed arrears of salaries in many states of the federation,” said Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

The lawmakers, at the end of a two-day retreat on constitution review on Saturday, took the decision to shield its presiding officers, as well as those of state Houses of Assemblies, from prosecution.

They argued that since the other two arms of government – executive and judiciary – are enjoying immunity, the third arm ought to follow suit.

Mr. Saraki is currently facing prosecution for forgery and false and anticipatory assets declaration, while Ike Ekweremadu, his deputy, is being tried for forgery.

The proposal came amidst allegations of sexual misconduct against three Nigerian lawmakers by the United States government during the lawmakers’ visit to Cleveland for the International Visitor Leadership Programme.

Mohammed Gololo (APC, Bauchi) was accused of grabbing a hotel maid and soliciting sex, while Samuel Ikon (PDP, Akwa-Ibom) and Mark Gbillah (APC, Benue) allegedly requested a car park attendant to help them secure the services of prostitutes.

Mr. Falana said the lawmakers’ proposal to shield their presiding officers from prosecution is “provocative.”

“No serious nation can grant immunity to legislators who have been linked with criminal diversion of public funds, forgery and rape,” he said.

“We can assure the concerned members of the public that the satanic proposals of the legislators will not succeed.

“It is pertinent to inform the legislators that the members of the human rights community have resolved to mobilize the Nigerian people to reject both proposals.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

MTN Agrees To Pay Nigerian $1.7 Billion Fine

South African telecoms giant MTN said Friday it would pay a $1.7 billion fine to the Nigerian government in a “full and final settlement” over its failure to disconnect unregistered mobile phone users.

The company said in a statement that “MTN Nigeria has agreed to pay a total cash amount of Naira 330 billion over three years.”

Africa’s biggest wireless operator was fined $3.9 billion last year and has since been in negotiations with the government over the payout.

Credit: AFP

43,000 Ghost Workers Uncovered In Nigerian Security Agencies

The Head of the Continuous Audit team of the Federal Government, Mohammed Dikwa, on Tuesday said N50 billion was saved so far through the audit of security agencies payroll.

Mr. Dikwa said this in Abuja at a meeting between the Continuous Audit team, Minister of Finance and Heads of Para-Military agencies.

President Mohammadu Buhari had set up the Continuous Audit team to look into the payroll of all Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The team had already embarked on the audit of the Military payroll and enrolling them on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

“Since we started the continuous audit programme, we have saved about N50 billion and over 43,000 ghost workers have been removed from the payroll of the federal government.

“And as we go on, we are very sure that we will continue to reduce the cost of federal government payroll.

“Please note the cost is not related to ghost workers alone but with allowances which we believe have to be trimmed down so that we can manage the cost of governance,’’ he said.

Mr. Dikwa said officers from the account departments of all the para-military agencies were currently undergoing training on IPPIS and the Government Management Information System (GIFMIS)

 He said the plan was to have all the agencies enrolled on the IPPIS and GIFMIS at the end of the month once the training was completed.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Nigerian Genital Cutters Give Conditions For Ending Female Genital Mutilation

The Circumcision Descendants Association of Nigeria have advocated the provision of alternative means of livelihood for their members as a way of curbing Female Genital Mutilation practice in south-west Nigeria.

At a Summit? to End FGM in Nigeria held in Ibadan, Monday, the group said the FGM agenda would be difficult to achieve without the “full involvement” of their members.

“The practice of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) has generated heated debates in the international development arena as an issue linked to women’s rights and gender inequality,” said Abiola Ogundokun, Chairman, Board of Trustees, of CDAN.

“However, it is noteworthy that unknown to the NGOs and principal actors of the FGM campaign, the registered CDAN is equally committed to the same campaign and agenda of the United Nations as contained in our constitution.

“It is unfortunate that the desired efforts of the association have not been utilised for the successful advancement of the project in order to bring the act to an end. Hence the need of this timely proposed summit.”

Mr. Ogundokun, a magazine publisher and politician, said CDAN had made repeated attempts to collaborate with NGOs in the past but failed due to “lukewarm attitude of some of the NGOs.”

“To eradicate FGM from the South West zone of Nigeria and further penetrate other regions, we need to do a lot more. We should increase community awareness and knowledge on the health hazards associated with FGM.”

Scores of CDAN members across the South West, donning uniformed local attires inscribed with ‘Say No to FGM,’ attended Monday’s summit where they watched video clips on the hazards of female circumcision.

Mr. Ogundokun said several deliberations within the rank and file of CDAN membership had resulted in a majority decision for the approval of zero tolerance to FGM.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Boko Haram Lures, Traps Young Nigerian Entrepreneurs With Business Loans

Boko Haram has lured young entrepreneurs and business owners in northeast Nigeria to join the Islamist militant group by providing or promising capital and loans to boost their businesses, aid agency Mercy Corps said on Monday.

According to Reuters, seeing successful business ownership as a way to escape poverty, many Nigerian youths – ranging from butchers and beauticians to tailors and traders – accepted loans for their businesses in return for joining Boko Haram, Mercy Corps said.

Yet the lure of business support is often a trap, as those who cannot repay their loans are forced to join the militants or be killed, said the report from the U.S.-based aid agency. “Boko Haram is tapping into the yearning of Nigerian youth to get ahead in an environment of massive inequality,” said report author and Mercy Corps peacebuilding adviser Lisa Inks.

“It is incredibly clever – either such loans breed loyalty or Boko Haram use mafia style tactics to trap and force young people to join them,” Inks told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Six in 10 Nigerians live in absolute poverty, on less than one dollar a day, a figure which rises to three quarters of the population in the northeast of the country, according to the latest statistics from Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics.

Many young people told Mercy Corps they would struggle without the support of powerful “godfathers” to provide capital for their businesses, or cash transfers for equipment and goods.

Credit: Thisday

Nigerian Man Who Claimed To Be A Victim Of Witchcraft In His Village Loses Bid To Stay In Australia

A Nigerian man named in court as “Wzavl” who told authorities he had been a victim of witchcraft in his village of Abia State, on Tuesday, April 5, lost his bid to stay in Australia. Although the Migration Review Tribunal accepted that witchcraft takes place in Nigeria and that such practices had “the potential to physically harm victims”, however, the he tribunal did not accept the man was likely to suffer at the hands of witchcraft practitioners if he was returned, because he would live in a city about 95 kilometres from the village in which he had claimed to have  been the victim of witchcraft.

After “Wzavl” appealed the tribunal’s decision to deny him a protection visa, and failed in a separate
bid to overturn that decision, the Federal Court of Australia considered his case last

On Tuesday, Justice Kathleen Farrell handed down her decision to dismiss Wzavl’s plea for the tribunal’s ruling to be overturned. Farrell said Wzavl had told authorities his father had been tortured to death in 2009 after opposing witchcraft in the family’s village.

Justice Farrell said Wzavl told the tribunal that “in 2001, as a result of the applicant [Wzavl] asking questions about his father’s death, the applicant was also attacked by people in the village. As to the nature of the attack, the applicant said that he was made to go crazy with charms and left running naked in the street.”

He had also claimed to have had acid poured over his front and back, and claimed that if he were returned he could be subjected to sectarian violence from Muslims and be targeted by gangsters who would see him as a “rich man” after returning from Australia.

In the end, the Migration Review Tribunal (which last year became part of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal) accepted that witchcraft could harm people in Nigeria.

Justice Farrell found: “In relation to the applicant’s claims to fear harm arising from his father’s death and the use of witchcraft, the tribunal accepted that witchcraft takes place in Nigeria and has the potential to physically harm victims; it accepted that the applicant’s father was killed in 1990 and that the applicant had been subjected to harm by people from his village in 2001.”

Before arriving in Australia in 2011, Wzavl had moved from his village, where he feared reprisals from witchcraft practitioners, to the southern city of Aba, about 95 kilometres way. He later moved to Malaysia.

“The tribunal found that were he to return to Nigeria he would not return to his village and would instead return to Aba, being the place where he had resided for eight years prior to his departure to Malaysia,” Justice Farrell said.

The tribunal also ruled there was no more than a remote chance of him being targeted by gangsters or as a Christian at the hands of Muslims.

Justice Farrell rejected Wzavl’s bid for an appeal of the decision, and ordered him to pay costs to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. It is expected Wzavl will soon be deported.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Budget Tinkering: Buhari Reportedly Orders Redeployment Of 184 Top Officials From Budget Office

President Buhari has reportedly ordered the redeployment of 184 top budget officials to other parastatals that have little or nothing to do with budget, as a punishment for their roles in padding the 2016 budget sent to the National Assembly.

According to a report by Vanguard, a top official in the Budget office confirmed that 22 top officers from the Budget Office of the Federation were affected in the mass deployment.

The rest were moved away from budget-related duties in other Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs. Out of the 22 top officials deployed in the budget office, four were directors on Level 17, six
were deputy directors while 12 were Assistant directors.

The ordered for their redeployment was reportedly conveyed in a statement by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation. Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Akpadem James, confirmed the development but declined to give further details.



Source – Kevdjakporblog.com

Ololade Ajekigbe: I’ll Buy Nigeria, But…

In the past couple of weeks, there has been some clamour for Nigerians to patronise made-in-Nigeria products. The hashtag “Buy Naija To Grow The Naira” was even created to drive its awareness on Twitter. The aim is simple – Buy locally made goods to save the naira from its current alarming slope downhill. For all intents and purposes this campaign has become imperative especially in the light of the dwindling fortune of the naira against the dollar. Since the price of crude oil has been on a steady decline for a while now, oil producing countries have had to turn their attention to other sectors of their economy to ensure that their gross domestic product does not plummet. In a mono-economy like Nigeria there were no such options.

After jettisoning her first love agriculture for the more attractive oil in the last couple of decades. Nigeria has suddenly found herself in a quagmire occasioned by the consistent fall in the price of crude oil.  This has had a multiplier effect on all other areas of the economy as we never really gave a long term thought to the consequences of our over-dependence on one area of the economy. Now, the prices of goods and services have skyrocketed, organizations are laying off staff every day, the naira now exchanges for N400 to a dollar in the parallel market, while one would have to cough over N500 in exchange for one pound an all time low since its steady decline at the beginning of this year following the stopping of weekly dollar sale to Bureaux de Change’s by the Central Bank.

Bottom line – the prognosis doesn’t look good , and there remains a pervading sense of uncertainty in the air. Hence, the call for Nigerians to strengthen their currency by reducing their long time penchant for buying foreign products as opposed to the made-in-Nigeria ones. One man who has been at the forefront of this crusade is the CEO of Silverd bird and Senator representing Bayelsa East constituency, Mr Ben Murray Bruce. The “commonsense” crusader has taken it upon himself to champion the cause of Obinna who makes shoes in Aba, Iya Kudi who deals in Adire textile in Ibadan and Hassan who manufactures leather wallets in Kano. Mr Bruce put his money where his mouth is by not only sharing photos of himself patronizing Aba made clothes and shoes, but also going further to purchase made-in-Nigeria cars by Innoson Motors.

The Senate President has also added his voice to the “Buy Naija To Grow The Naira” campaign. Promising to re-examine to the laws to seek ways to improve support for domestic manufacturers and producers following his meeting with the CEO of the Nnewi based vehicle manufacturing company, Mr Innocent Chukwuma. These are steps in the right direction. However, the fact remains that the average Nigerian has developed an apathy for made-in-Nigeria goods over the years, and for good reason too. Locally made products are often seen as counterfeit and sub standard. Only very few Nigerian manufacturers put utmost care and attention into their creation. The Anything-goes mentality of the typical Nigerian has eaten deep into the fabric of our manufacturing industry.

Clothes whose colours run as soon as you dip them into water, heels that come off just as you step into the interview room of a potential employer, the locally made soap that makes the hands appear shrivelled after washing, pot handles that come off only a few weeks into using them, diapers that induce rashes in babies and cornflakes that turn soggy just as soon as you introduce a bit of water into them. That has been the narrative associated with made-in-Nigeria products for a while now, yet there are many fantastic Nigerian-made products which have stood the test of time. The truth is as plain as a pikestaff – Nigerians don’t trust their own products. Hence, the “long throat” for foreign goods, even though there are no guarantees that they are any better.

The reality is; if the government of the day is serious about growing the naira, then it must invest heavily in small and medium scale businesses so as to encourage manufacturers to produce their best. The first thing anyone who’s parting with their hard earned cash wants to be sure of is getting value for their money, especially in these austere times. Nigerians are not going to be cajoled or guilt-tripped into buying Nigeria except they are certain of the quality of what they are getting. As a matter of fact, this rule doesn’t apply to Nigerians only. There’s no one in their right frame of mind, in any part of the world who would choose to buy a fake product when they can get the authentic one at about the same price or for a slightly higher amount. It only makes sense.

There are people who have sworn off made-in-Nigeria goods because of the not-too-pleasant and sometimes embarrassing experiences they have had because they dared to put their trust in a home-made good. Essentially, this means that our manufacturers and local industry need to up their game in order to make sure they put out good quality products which speak for themselves. The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) appears to be doing a good job in creating awareness on how to identify original products but things are far from uhuru yet. SON needs to do more to ensure that substandard goods do not define the Nigerian made goods market. The National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC) which has been under the radar since the glory days of its late former Director General, Dora Akunyili must be alive to its responsibilities and ensure that chalk isn’t sold as paracetamol in our Pharmacies and Supermarkets. The right structure must be put in place to boost the local market.

In all, while it is shameful that a country with vast human and material resources like Nigeria still imports toothpicks and tomato paste, it is not enough to “shout it from the rooftops” and create a hashtag to encourage locally made goods patronage. If our leaders who are usually the first ones to ship in foreign made goods to satisfy their most basic needs can control their appetite for “oyinbo things” and patronize our own brands here, then the general populace will be more wont to follow suit, and not see this campaign as mere lip service.

US Trains Nigerian Military Officers On Counter-terrorism

A team of military personnel from the United States of America has arrived Nigeria to train a battalion of Nigerian Army officers and soldiers on counter-terrorism and insurgency operations.

Speaking at the commencement of the training at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State on Wednesday, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Enwistle, stressed the need for countries within the Lake Chad Basin to continue to work together in the fight against terrorism and insurgency within the region.

He stated that with the ongoing partnership between United States and Nigerian military in the areas of training of officers and soldiers, the war against the Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast was already yielding tremendous result as the insurgents had been largely defeated.

The US Ambassador also tasked the Nigerian government on improving the socio-economic development of the northeast that had been ravaged by Boko Haram attacks in order to secure a long term stability of the region.

On his part, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Owonishakin, said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to ensure that the Nigerian Armed Forces were adequately equipped to enable personnel fight terrorism and other security challenges confronting the nation.

He explained that the partnership between the US military and Nigeria’s Armed Forces was borne out of the commitment of the present administration in waging war against global terrorism and violent extremism.

General Owonishakin, however, urged the participants to use the training opportunity to improve their military skills and capacity.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, reminded the participants of the enormous security challenges facing Nigeria and the need for them to adapt with the new tactics to deal with the situation.

He also reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Army towards strict observance of human rights and international humanitarian laws in the ongoing military effort to liberate the northeast from the Boko Haram terrorists.

The training which would last for 12 weeks, is designed to be conducted in three phases for troops of the 145 Battalion.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Local Vehicle Manufacturer IVM Makes Parts For Nigerian Jet Fighters

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar has applauded the management of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company for its support to the military by providing technical support that has enabled the Nigerian Air Force to sustain its operations against the Boko Haram insurgents.

The Air Force revealed on Wednesday, that Innoson ‘helped to locally modify and overhaul the brake assembly of the MB-339 aircraft for adoption on the Alpha Jets’ and also ‘helped for the continued operation of the Alpha Jets, and had helped to save the day when help was not forthcoming from abroad’.

This was disclosed in a statement released by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa.

In the statement, Abubakar said the contribution of Innoson deserves national recognition and award, due to the important role played by the Alpha Jet in the ongoing counter insurgency operations in North East Nigeria.

“The collaboration between the NAF and IVM is in line with one of the key drivers of the CAS vision which is strategic partnership with ministries, departments and agencies for enhanced research and development.”

“Beyond the feat, the NAF is poised to exploit the possibilities of mass producing the Alpha Jet break assembly and other parts locally by partnering with IVM, as well as other credible organisations, to build own capacity for enhanced self-reliance.”

“Our partnership with IVM would not end with the Alpha jet break assembly but a leeway to forge new frontiers, through research and development, to replicate some of the spares needed by our platforms” the CAS said.

Abubakar added that the feat has not only saved the country huge foreign exchange that otherwise would have been spent abroad but also adding value to Nigerians through provision of job opportunities.

Credit: Sun

Meet Hijarbie, The Hijab-Wearing Barbie By A Nigerian

Barbie is having a moment right now, evolving with new body shapes and blowing up on Instagram.

But one young woman, 24-year-old Haneefah Adam of Nigeria, wasn’t seeing any of these Barbies dressed in the same way she did — wearing modest clothing that covers the body. So, two months ago, she started her own account, called @hijarbie.

In interviews with Mic and BuzzFeed, Adam explained that she makes the clothes for the Barbie dolls herself. The designs are often inspired by looks worn by popular Muslim fashion bloggers.

As chic and lovely as Hijarbie’s outfits are, the best part about the whole thing is what Adam hopes to accomplish through her Instagram account.

“I want [girls] to be inspired — this is about having an alternative and creating an awareness of having toys that adopts your religion and culture and in your own likeness, which at the end of the day, leads to an improvement in self-esteem,” she told Mic.

See pics below:

Blue ??? #Hijarbie #hijarbiestyle #hijabstyle #hijabfashion
I'm going to be emulating a leading hijabi blogger from the UK today! Hijarbie meets Habiba Da Silva!
Love the kimono abaya style??? #Hijarbie #hijabfashion #hijarbiestyle #hijabstyle
Hey there! #Hijarbie #hijabfashion #hijabmuslim #hijarbiestyle
Thanks for the love!!??
The #LBD (Long Black Dress). Staple in every wardrobe. 
#abaya #hijarbiestyle #hijabfashion #hijarbie
Mustard yellow and burgundy. Dabbling into jewel tones #Hijarbie #instafashion #hijabfashion #hijarbiestyle
#hijabstyle #maxiskirt #hijabfashion #instafashion
#Hijab #details
Cape, anyone? ????
#Hijarbie #hijarbiestyle #hijabfashion #instafashion
Some #pink and #white action. Love it! ?
I created the prints myself to match @eslimah's.
Neutrals... ??
#hijarbie #hijarbiestyle #hijabbarbie #hijabfashion #modest
???? #hijarbie #hijarbiestyle #WorldHijabDay2016 #hijabbarbie
Credit: Cosmopolitan

Nigerian Student In Malaysia Charged For Cheating Two Women On Facebook

A Nigerian college student who allegedly cheated women on Facebook has been charged at the Magistrate Court in Malaysia.
Collins Sparklys Obianke, 33 (pictured leaving the Petaling Jaya Magistrate Court) who was charged at two separate courts here pleaded not guilty and claimed trial before magistrate Salamiah Salleh and magistrate Mohd Azali Ibrahim.
The suspected fraudster was believed to have cheated Foo Pooi Yun, 38 and S. Vanitha, 31 into making them believe that they had received a parcel containing gifts from overseas that required them to deposit RM10,500 into a bank account between Aug 24 and Sept 14 2015. The parcels were supposed to contain a handbag, laptop, mobile phone, watches, sunglasses and perfume.
He was charged under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating which carries 10 years jail, whipping and a fine if convicted.
The court allowed RM11,000 bail in one surety for both charges. Obianke who was represented by lawyer L. A Gomes was also ordered to surrender his passport to the court.
Deputy public prosecutor N. Sivashangari and Siti Fatimah Yahya acted for the prosecution.

NDLEA Decries Death Sentence On Nigerian In Malaysia

The acting Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mrs. Roli Bode-George, has decried the death sentence passed on a Nigerian, Ekene Collins Isaac, by a Malaysian High Court.

Ekene, 37, was found guilty of smuggling 915.6g of methamphetamine, commonly known as ecstasy or MDMA, into Malaysia three years ago.

The High Court judge, Datuk Wan Afrah Wan Ibrahim, said the prosecution had proven Isaac’s guilt beyond doubt as she passed down the death sentence.

A statement by the Head, Public Affairs of the agency, Ofoyeju Mitchell, said Roli, however, promised that diplomatic efforts would be explored to save the convict and assured Nigerians that the agency would maintain total alertness in drug detection operation all through the year.

She gave the assurance while speaking on the discovery of drugs in tin packs and arrest of a suspected drug trafficker on Boxing Day at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos with substances that tested positive to cocaine on his way from Brazil. The drug packed in six wraps weighing 120 grammes was inserted into his anus.

The second suspect wanted to export a consignment containing 1.860kg of methamphetamine sealed in tin tomato paste to South Africa when he was arrested.

“The Nigerian government will work to protect every citizen from untimely death resulting from drug trafficking and drug abuse. We shall remain vigilant at all times and prevent drug trafficking syndicates from smuggling narcotic drugs in and out of the country. While respecting the laws of other countries, the federal government will explore diplomatic means to prevent capital punishment on citizens,” George said.

Credit: Thisday

Fashola Gets N433.4bn for Power, Works And Housing

The Federal Government has earmarked N433.4 billion in the 2016 budget for the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing led by Babatunde Fashola.
President Muhammadu Buhari stated this on Tuesday in his 2016 budget speech delivered at the Joint session of the National Assembly.
“To deliver our development objectives, we have increased the capital expenditure portion of the budget from N557 billion in the 2015 budget to N1.8 trillion in the 2016 budget.“For the first time in many years, capital expenditure will represent 30 per cent of our total budget.“In future years, we intend to raise the percentage allocation for capital expenditure,” he said.

Nigerian Stock Market Loses N2.354tn In One Year

The market capitalization (equities only) of the Nigerian stock market has shed a total of N2.354tn in the past year.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange, in its fourth quarter 2014 Fact Sheet, put the market capitalization at N11.478tn; but at the end of trading on Friday, it stood at N9.124tn.

This, therefore, represents a 20.5 per cent drop in the stock market value.

The market had been on a decline for the greater part of this year due to various factors.

In January alone, the renewed dumping of shares by investors at the stock market over uncertainty in the political landscape led to a dip of N1.16tn in the market capitalization of the Exchange in the first three trading days of the year.

Trading on the NSE in 2014 had closed with a decline of 16.1 per cent in the market capitalization, which resulted in the stock market opening 2015 on a bearish note.

The NSE All Share Index, which stood at an average 34,657.15 points in the last quarter of 2014, has fallen to 26,537.36 so far this year, according to NSE statistics released on Friday. This represents a drop of 23.4 per cent.

This trend has further shattered the dreams of the Exchange to stabilize and further grow the market capitalization.

The Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, had in the early part of this year said that his self-imposed target of achieving $1tn (about N197tn) market capitalization by 2016 was no longer feasible.

Credit: Punch

Zayyad I. Muhammad: Understanding President Buhari’s ‘System Thinking’ Approach

There are four groups of Nigerians keenly watching President Muhammadu Buhari’s style of governance. The first group is of Nigerians who are familiar with General’s style of doing ‘things’. This group is observing things quietly without being troubled. In fact, this group is very optimistic that the change Nigerians voted for will come with very fruitful results. The second group is of those Nigerians that passionately admire Buhari, but are worried that, after nearly eight months in power, the expected ‘fire-fire’ approach from the retired General is yet to commence.
The third group is of the pessimists who are still in doubt whether things will change tremendously. The fourth is of the unconstructive antagonists- they want to see Buhari’s failure in order to justify their past very poor performance.
For first group, they need no explanation on how things would work- because they are very aware of how things will take shape. For the second and third groups, an explanation to them is needed in order to keep their minds at rest.
For the fought group; they will always see things from the perspective of their hearts- they will always be unnecessarily antagonistic to the Buhari government.
 For those groups of Nigerians who want change- let them be assured that the Buhari government will operate in a style that Operations Research scientists call ‘System Thinking’- a series approach to governance- where each developmental sectors are connected and will influence each other within a well-planned  government.  President Buhari will use this approach to achieve a realistic development within the first four years of his government.
For instance, improvement in infrastructure will be connected to human capital development, productive job creation and private sector effective participation in development. In addition, development of infrastructure like roads, railways, ports etc will be linked to generation of more revenue for the government to support other sectors of the economy.
Youth development will be connected to agriculture, solid mineral development and education- for example, government will tie its development strategy in agriculture to encourage youths to participate in agriculture, which will in turn generate more agro-based productive jobs and enhance national food security. President Buhari reiterated this at the recent convocation ceremony of the Kaduna State University, he said: “We must promote and enhance the teaching and learning of entrepreneurial skills in all schools and tertiary institutions, thereby exposing our youths to the basics and rudiments of starting and sustaining their own businesses”.
The development of the mining sector will be connected to poverty reduction and small scale industries support – those engaged in illegal and unstructured local mining will be assisted by the government to form small mining firms in order to produce sufficient quality minerals for export. This will eliminate illegal mining and create more jobs and revenue for the government.
The ‘System Thinking’ approach was responsible for President Buhari’s systematic assigning of portfolios to his ministers- the round peg in to the round hole. Equally, most of the President’s foreign trips were meant to link Nigeria’s current development needs with her international relations.
In summary, the layman’s way to understand the Buhari ‘System Thinking approach’  is that, it is designed to tackle Nigeria’s numerous problem in series – a kind of development model, whereby the country simultaneously develops her infrastructure, agricultural sector, education, small scale industries and human capital. That is, putting in place a process through which all sectors of country’s economy are transformed over a defined period, by the reinvigoration and connection of the entire sectors of the economy and placing the country in a position so that her citizens can takeadvantage of the vast opportunities the Nigeria’s economy offers.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State, zaymohd@yahoo.com, 08036070980. He blogs atwww.zayyaddp.blogspot.com
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

CAN Protests Moves To List Nigeria Among Arab Nations To Fight ISIS

UMBRELLA body of Christians in Nigeria, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, last night protested the attempt by the current All Progressives Congress, APC, government to subtly enlist Nigeria among Arab nations to fight ISIS.

It was reported on foreign news last night that Saudi Arabia was building a coalition of 34 Muslim/Arab countries to fight ISIS and Nigeria was named among the 34.

A statement late last night by the General Secretary of CAN, Rev. Musa Asake, said: “This singular gesture of the Buhari government betrays so much, and tends to confirm our fears that underneath everything this government is doing, there is an agenda with strong Islamic undertones, aimed at undermining Nigeria’s pluralistic character and neutrality regarding government’s affiliation to any one religion.

“While joining hands with other countries to fight ISIS is something good, our country must not be tagged as a Muslim or Arab nation. Christians must make a public statement showing their discontent on this development which portends great danger to national unity and integration.”

Nigerian Miss Nwadike Wins Most Exquisite Face Of Miss Universe 2015 (PHOTO)

Nigeria has taken the global beauty queen crown again. Collete Nwadike from Nigeria has been crowned the “Exquisite Face of the Universe 2015”.

In a keenly contested beauty pageant held recently in Sao Tome & Principe, Nwadike made history as the first ever black queen to take the crown.

She beat Miss Germany who was the first runner-up; Miss Angola was the second runner-up; Miss Aruba was the third runner-up, and the host country’s participant, Miss Sao Tome & Principe, was the fourth runner-up.

Nwadike succeeds Susan Castano from Dominican Republic.

The top 10 finalists were USA, Brazil, Sudan, Nigeria, Germany, Cape Verde, Ghana, Angola, Aruba and Sao Tome & Principe.

Nwadike, who had earlier won the award for “Best Evening Gown”, put up a stellar performance to outshine other gorgeous contestants from various countries of the world.
“It’s like a dream come true. I’ve always dreamed of winning an international pageant and here I am, living my dream. I thank God for making this possible. I thank my ever supportive family,” the elated Nwadike said.

Credit: ThisDay

Tony Blair Holds Talks With Nigerian Governors’ Forum

A Former Prime Minister of Britain, Mr Tony Blair, is meeting with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to discuss areas of collaboration.

The meeting, which is being held at the Presidential Villa Abuja, is hosting the Tony Blair Foundation in the first of series of meeting with development partners geared towards good governance.

Mr Blair told the Governors that the dwindling oil prices and the attendant cash crunch called for change in the way things were done.

According to him, the Blair Foundation can collaborate with government at the state to bring about change in the country.

Before the meeting with the governors, Mr Blair held talks with the Chairman of the Forum, Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari of Zamfara State, where they discussed how the foundation could help state governments in the areas of health, education and Agriculture.

 Credit: ChannelsTV

Dasuki, Others Will Abscond If Granted Bail –EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has opposed the bail applications filed by the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), and two others before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, where they were on Monday arraigned on 19 counts of misappropriation of about N32bn meant for the purchase of arms.

The prosecution, led by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), in separate counter-affidavits to the bail applications, said the accused persons could abscond if granted bail by the court.

Those arraigned along with Dasuki, before Justice Yusuf Baba on Monday, are a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, and Aminu Baba-Kusa.

Aminu-Kusa’s two firms – Acacia Holdings Ltd and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited – are also part of the accused.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the 19 counts involving the misappropriation of about N32bn when the charges were read to them on Monday.

Baba-Kusa pleaded not guilty for himself and on behalf of his two firms.

Dasuki was represented by his lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), who is also defending him in his trial of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms, instituted against him before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

While Salisu was represented by Mr. A.U. Mustapha, Baba-Kusa was represented by Ms. Umahani Ali.

The judge adjourned till 12pm on Tuesday for the hearing of the accused persons’ bail applications.

In the counter-affidavit, filed by the EFCC against Dasuki’s application, sighted by our correspondent on Monday, the prosecution stated that “the severity of the punishment upon conviction, which awaits the applicant, is an incentive for him to jump bail.”

The prosecution also opposed his bail application on the grounds that as “a former military officer and a former NSA,” Dasuki had the power to influence witnesses and in effect frustrate his trial.

It added that the accused person was still under investigation for more allegations against him and currently facing other criminal charges before the FCT High Court and the Federal High Court.

The accused persons were led away by the EFCC operatives, who produced them in court earlier in the day.

There is also facing another set of charges involving Dasuki, Salisu, a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa; his son, Sagir Attahiru, and their firm, Dalhatu Investment.

Justice Peter Affe of the same FCT High Court in Maitama, where the case against them was filed, on Monday, granted the EFCC leave to prefer the charges against the accused persons.

The second set of charges involves 22 counts of misappropriation of about N13.651bn meant for the purchase of arms to fight Boko Haram in the North-East.

The accused were said to have misappropriated a total of N13.651bn between August, 2013 and May 7, 2015.

In the 19 charges on which Dasuki and others were arraigned on Monday, the EFCC alleged that a former Special Assistant, Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Warimpamowei Dudafa, was on the run for his involvement in the release of N10bn from the NSA office to the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential primary delegates.

They were accused of misappropriating about N32bn between January 13, 2013 and April 17, 2015, amounting to an offence of criminal breach of trust against the provisions of Section 315 of the Penal Code Act, and Section 17 (b) of the EFCC Act, 2004.

They were also charged with dishonest receipt of stolen property in breach of sections 97 and 317 of the Penal Code Act as well as receipt of proceeds of criminal conduct in breach of Section 17(b) of the EFCC Act.

Part of the charges in the first set are, “That you Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki, whilst being National Security Adviser and Shaibu Salisu, whilst being the Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser and Mr. Waripamowei Dudafa (now at large), whilst being Senior Special Assistant, Domestic Affairs to the President, on or about November 27, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, entrusted with dominion over certain properties to wit: the sum of N10bn, being part of the funds in the account of the National Security Adviser with the CBN, the equivalent of which sum you received from the CBN in foreign currencies to wit: $47m and €5.6m (Euros), committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said property when you claimed to have distributed same to the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Primary Election delegates and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, Vol.4, LFN 2004.

Nigerian Senators Divided Over Oil Benchmark For 2016 Budget

Members of the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday commenced debate on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) presented to the upper legislative body by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Buhari had forwarded the MTEF to the Senate on Monday.

Under Nigerian public finance system, the MTEF is the precursor to budget, as well as Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), which details spending and revenue projections for three years.

At the Senate plenary Wednesday, lawmakers differed on the $38 per barrel benchmark projected as the price of crude of oil, the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.

Leading the debate, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, asked the Senate to consider an upward review of the crude oil benchmark for the 2016 budget.

?In his opinion the $38 oil benchmark is “conservative”.

Mr. Ekweremadu therefore urged the senate to peg the oil benchmark for the 2016 budget at $40 per barrel.

“I have looked at the projection for the oil price,” he began, adding that “the benchmark of $38 per barrel appears to me to be conservative. From the projection of oil price for 2016 it is estimated? that it will hover between $40 and $45.

“I like to suggest that the senate consider an oil benchmark of $40. I’m sure that this will help cushion the problems we have in the states.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Gabonese President Ali Bongo Allegedly Found To Be Igbo, Adopted From Nigeria During Biafra War

Indications have emerged that the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba is a Nigerian of the ethnic Igbo stock. It is said that he was adopted during the Biafran war by his father, Omar Bongo who handed over to him as President.


This development may soon be confirmed as a court in western France on Thursday allowed a family member of Omar Bongo to view the birth certificate of Ali Bongo following accusations that he lied about his country of origin.


The Gabonese constitution demands that one must be born Gabonese to serve as the head of state, but French investigative journalist, Pierre Pean alleged in a recent book that the President was actually a Nigerian and was adopted during the Biafran war in the late 1960s.

The court in Nantes allowed 25-year-old Onaida Maisha Bongo Ondimba, a daughter of former president Omar Bongo, to view the documents in full, which her lawyer, Eric Moutet hailed the decision as “enormous”, though “diplomatically complex”.


Ali Bongo is the only one of ex-president Omar Bongo’s 54 declared heirs not to have produced the identification documents. He claims he was born in Brazzaville in 1959, former capital of French Equatorial Africa.


The Nantes civil registration centre is responsible for all birth certificates of people born in French Equatorial Africa up to 1960, when the former colonial countries in the region gained independence to become Gabon, Congo, Chad and the Central African Republic.


Credit : Daily Post

Okorocha Advocates Military Training In Nigerian Educational Curriculum

Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has advocated that military and paramilitary training should be introduced into the educational curriculum from the secondary school to tertiary education level in Nigeria.

He said this would help prepare Nigerians and give them adequate security training in the face of rising spate of insecurity and terrorist attacks facing the nation.

Governor Okorocha made this call in Owerri, the Imo State capital, while addressing officers and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) at the state headquarters, during the quarterly achievement and assessment programme of the command.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Retired Army Colonel Arrested For Stealing Lawmaker’s Car

A retired colonel, Bassey Jackson-Umoh, was on Thursday paraded by the Cross River State Police command for allegedly stealing a 2008 model of Toyota Highlander belonging to a member of the Cross River House of Assembly, Mr. Steven Okpupken.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. John Eluu, said the suspect was arrested with the vehicle in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State following complaints from a car dealer.

Punch reports that ,the retired colonel, who allegedly posed as Maj.-Gen Peter Williams, attached to the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja, had issued a dud cheque to the car dealer and left an old Toyota Camry car in the dealer’s custody.

But the suspect while being paraded boasted that he would deal with all those connected with his travail when he regained his freedom.
“At the end of the day, the truth will come out and I will deal with all those connected with this and everybody connected will pay for it,” he boasted.
However, the PPRO maintained that the blue Toyota Highlander with number plate, Cross River BKS 214 AA, was received fraudulently.
He said,
“On October 5, 2015, one Mr. Steven Okpukpen, a member of the state House of Assembly, came to the command with a written petition that he gave out his 2008 Toyota Highlander for sale. He gave the light blue vehicle to the owner of Micah Motors to be placed for sale at the cost of N3m.
“He stated that to his surprise, the manager of Micah Motors informed him that one retired Maj. Gen. Peter Williams came to his car shop and indicated interest to buy the Highlander and another Honda Accord car for N7.5m.
“In his petition, he also stated that the said retired colonel, who introduced himself as Maj. Gen. Peter Williams, had on October 3, issued a post-dated cheque to be cashed on October 5, by the Managing Director of Micah Motors. But on presentation of the cheque to the bank, it was dishonoured by the bank for insufficient funds.”
The PPRO said upon receipt of the information, a team of detective from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the state trailed the suspect to Uyo where he was arrested.
He added,
“During investigation, the suspect confessed to the police that his real name was Col. Bassey Jackson-Umoh (retd). He said that Maj. Gen. Peter Williams was his fake business name which he used in duping members of the public.
“He equally confessed that he was fully aware that there was no money in the said bank account. He confessed that since his Toyota Camry car was bad and he needed a new car and had no money to buy a new one, he had to convince the car dealer that there was money in the said bank account. He did this dirty deal so as to allow him take possession of the Toyota Highlander and the Honda car.”
Meanwhile, Okpupken, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, has commended the state police command for the manner with which it handled the case.
In a letter he addressed to the police command, the lawmaker said contrary to the negative impression created against the police, the case had shown that the police had a better image than what was being portrayed.

British Divorcee Reveals How She Was Duped Of £4,000 By A Nigerian Online Con Artist

British divorcee Sheila has revealed how she was duped by an online con artist who targeted her through a reputable dating website. The divorcee in her late sixties told Channel 5 show Secrets Of The Scammers how she was contacted by a man claiming to be called Glen Almond and got caught up in a whirlwind romance.
She ended up giving away £4,000 before she discovered she was the victim of an elaborate scam based in Nigeria. Even to this day, Sheila has no idea who she was actually talking to or where her money went.
The couple then started planning their future together. Glen told Sheila his time in Afghanistan could be coming to an end in a matter of weeks and he would move to the UK to be with her. He said he planned to set up his own business there importing goods from the Far East.
     “We were planning to walk off into the sunset hand-in-hand and live happily ever after.”
Sheila said she didn’t know anything about his business but ‘I thought we were to be a husband and wife team and I would support him in any way I could.
     “He told me our whole future was at stake if he didn’t pay and we risked losing everything.”
Desperate to help the man she loved, Sheila was able to sell some shares and delve into her savings to give £4,000 in total to Glen.
She also put her house on the market so they would have some money to buy a new place together. It was only thanks to sharing her excitement over the plan with a prospective buyer that she discovered she had been conned.
 “As I was showing prospective buyers around my house I was so excited as Glen was due to be coming home tomorrow. I couldn’t help telling them all about it and showed them Glen’s picture on my laptop.” she recalled.
The prospective buyer was a former soldier himself and was suspicious of Sheila’s situation. After doing some research of his own, his fears were confirmed and he contacted Sheila and told her she had been duped.
     “The moment I found out it was a fake profile and it wasn’t for real I was emotionally devastated. My whole world fell apart. I contacted the police who found I was one of hundreds of victims of this professional, international scam and they traced it back to Nigeria. I have no idea to this day who I was corresponding with. Someone out there in the world was writing these emails and I have no idea who it was.”
Alexis Conran, presenter of Secret Of The Scammers, was able to track down a reformed Nigerian con artist who was part of a team perating dating scams like that experienced by Sheila.
The remorseful scammer called Kingsley admitted that divorcees were deliberately targetted because they are often emotionally vulnerable and easy to manipulate.
     “I mostly made money through romance scams, we would pretend to be interested in dating them and along the line we con them out of money using various methods.” he said
     “We are looking for someone who is divorced as there is always an emotional attachment, they feel some sort of emptiness.” he added.
He said they would send the woman a picture of a handsome man they would ‘fall for’ and concoct a back story about their life. He said they often pretended to have a military background as this is attractive to women and gives them a plausible reason why they can’t meet.

“Most women say they want security and someone with a good job. One of the best jobs we believe is in the military and with a military man you can say you are travelling. It is a game of emotions.”

He added that you have to dedicate time to each ‘mark’ and he would only be in contact with a maximum of five women at a time so his lies didn’t get confused.
     “The more time you spend on them the more attached they become and then the sooner you will get money, sometimes it is only between one and three months,” he said.
     “If you want to stay organised I would limit it to between one and five, when you are lying to them you don’t want to forget anything.’
Kingsley admitted he is now sorry for what he has done and is no longer working as a scammer and regrets duping women out of their life savings.
He said: ‘A lot of people have been permanently damaged and some will not recover, if I had the chance to undo everything I would.”

Source: MailOnline

“The Policeman Who Murdered My Mum Must Be Killed Immediately” – Angel Macleod

The 14-year-old, tennis player, Angel Mcleod, has demanded that the trigger-happy policeman who shot her mother, Beauty Mcleod, dead should be ‘killed immediately’, saying he has taken away her joy.

Angel said she had been struggling to come out of the shock since the news of her mother’s death was broken to her.

Beauty, also a tennis player, was allegedly shot on Sunday, October 25, by one Corporal Joseph Aminu, who was attached to the Emperor’s Guest House on Balarabe Musa Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Beauty, who was from Anambra State, and Angel had lodged in the hotel in the afternoon of the
fateful day on their arrival from Accra, Ghana, where the daughter had gone for a tournament.

It was learnt that the 37-year-old woman was going outside the hotel around 10pm to meet a friend, Betsy Garrett, who was waiting at the car park, when the security guard challenged her, claiming that she had been going out repeatedly.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the guard called Aminu to intervene in the matter and it degenerated into an altercation between the policeman and the woman.

“I was told the security guard complained that my mum kept coming in and out and he got angry and then he called the policeman. The policeman slapped my mum and she had to retaliate with a stone. He eventually shot her in the leg and she started losing a lot of blood.

“I am just trying not to remember it (mother’s death). Any time I remember it, my spirit goes down. He (Aminu) does not deserve to be alive. He should be killed immediately. He has taken away my joy and everything I have in my life,” Angel said.

Her corpse was said to have been deposited at the Marina General Hospital, Lagos Island for autopsy.

Garrett, who also called for Aminu’s execution, said her friend might not have died if she was rescued on time. She lamented that after Aminu had shot Beauty in the leg, he left her to bleed and writhe in pain for about an hour before he permited rescuers to take her to St Nicholas Hospital, where she died.

Speaking with our correspondent on Saturday, Garrett, recounted the incident and how the corporal frustrated efforts to save her friend’s life.

She said, “She called me that night that she was shopping at 1004. I went to pick her there, dropped her at the hotel and waited for her at the car park. On coming out of her hotel room, the policeman ran after her. He complained that she was coming in and out and that she was disturbing them (he and others) from sleeping.

“He ran after her to where I was and attacked her. I separated them and asked what the problem was but neither of them told me. He corked the gun and I pleaded with him to drop it. Immediately he did, he gave her a heavy blow in the face. She ran towards the other direction, picked a stone and threw it at him. He pulled the gun and shot her in the leg.

“After she fell, he pointed the gun at me. I screamed and begged him to leave me. I ran, calling people to come and see how they could disarm him so that I could take my friend to the hospital. About four persons came. He pointed the gun at them and everybody ran away. It was after about 60 minutes that he allowed me to take her inside the car and he sat with me while I took her to the hospital.

“On our way, he stopped me and got down. It was shortly after I took her to the hospital that she died. The police must compensate her family and ensure that the policeman is killed too; he does not deserve to live.”

The deceased’s brother, Mr. Callistus Nwankwo, said he was not pleased with the way the matter was being handled by the police.

He said, “The police are not handling the case properly. When we went to the Maroko Police Station, where we learnt that the policeman was attached to, the DPO told us that the policeman was from the command headquarters in Ikeja. He said the man was not supposed to have been given a gun.”

Nwankwo added that he was looking up to the government and well-meaning Nigerians to assist in the upbringing of the deceased’s daughter.

“Kelechi Iheanacho Is More Than A Finisher” – Manchester City Coach Pellegrini

Manchester City and Nigerian youth prodigy,Kelechi Iheanacho scored one and gave two classic assist as city beat Crystal Palace 5-1.
The Nigerian youth prodigy has been receiving rave reviews from coach Pellegrini and city fans.

Manuel Pellegrini hailed new Blue hero Kelechi Iheanacho for his goalscoring full debut … but it was the two assists that really made the boss smile.

And the Engineer, usually reticent to lavish praise on individuals, especially young ones, said he had “no doubts” the Nigerian has a big future.

His performance evoked memories of Daniel Sturridge – and he has the same self-confident swagger,
on and off the field.

The 19-year-old grabbed the attention as the Blues cruised into the League Cup quarter-finals with a 5-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace to set up a home tie with Championship side Hull.

But for Pellegrini, the way he squared the ball for Kevin de Bruyne to score the second, and then expertly teed up Manu Garcia for his first City goal, meant much more.

“Kelechi for me is not just a finisher,” said Pellegrini. “He played very well. He must improve his control.

“But he always played with his head up so he made two important assists. He set up Kevin de Bruyne and after that, with more space, made a goal for Manu Garcia.
He can play behind the striker and arrive in the box to finish, as he did for his goal.

“It was very important for him to make a very good performance – he is a very good player.

Nigerian Student Beaten To Death For Allegedly Attempting To Rape A Lady Inside An Elevator

A yet to be identified Nigerian student in Malaysia has reportedly been beaten to death for attempting to rape a lady inside an elevator in a service apartment on September 23rd.

Malaysia’s newspaper, Malaymail online, reports that the Nigerian student was mobbed by residents of the service apartment after the victim raised an alarm.

The police was called in and the Nigerian student was taken to the police station with injuries on the right side of his head, and had scratch marks on his legs and hand. He later died at the police station.

“We received a call from the security manager of the apartment who informed us of the incident. When police arrived at 8.20 pm, the suspect was surrounded by 20 to 30 people and his hands were tied. The victim put up a fight and screamed for help as the lift door opened and several men who were in the area caught the suspect. The suspect was then taken to the police station at 8.45 pm. He was fine and he even walked into the station accompanied by policemen. However, we found him unconscious when one of the officers checked on him. A medical officer examined the suspect and pronounced him dead,” ACP Azmi Abu Kassim, a Malaysian police chief said.

The police say a post mortem is being carried out on the deceased. Meanwhile the Nigerian Embassy in Malaysia has not confirmed or reacted to the incident.

Saudi Authorities Arrest, Imprison Nigerian Pilgrimage Officials

The coordinator of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) in Mecca, Suleiman Usman, has disclosed that some Nigerian pilgrimage officials were arrested and taken to prison by the Saudi authorities for trespass.

Mr. Usman made the disclosure while paying a condolence visit, Sunday night, to three Nigerian states that lost six pilgrims in the Mecca crane accident.

Six Nigerian pilgrims including one male from Kaduna State, four females from Gombe State and one male from Katsina, died in the tragedy on Friday.

The coordinator said the affected officials were medical personnel arrested for embarking on a trip outside Mecca without official permit.

“We are trying to secure the release of our medical team, who were arrested and taken to prison by Saudi security, while travelling from Jeddah in an ambulance,” the coordinator said.

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Cameroon Sends Back 650 More Nigerian IDPs

Sa’ad Bello, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Camps Coordinator, said on Wednesday in Fufore, Adamawa, that the agency has received another 650 Nigerians sent back home from Cameroun Republic.

“So far, we have received over 9,000 Nigerians who escaped from Boko Haram attacks to Cameroun Republic,” he said. “The repatriated Nigerians were mostly women and children from Borno.”

According to him, the agency has settled the IDPs in four major camps in the state which include the NYSC Orientation Camp at Bajabure in Girei Council Area, the Malkohi IDPs Camp in Yola South Council Area, the Fufore Camp in Fufore Local Government and Saint Theresa Catholic Camp in Yola North Area.

He said that the new IDPs were undergoing intensive security and health screening, and appealed to well-meaning Nigerians and organisations to collaborate with the agency in assisting the IDPs.

Read More: dailytimes

EU Denies Ban on Nigerian Agricultural Products

The European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS has refuted reports that the EU has banned the import of agricultural products from Nigeria.

It however noted that the import suspension measure, which has been misconstrued, affected only dried beans.

The Head of Trade and Economic Section of the EU delegation to Nigeria, Mr. Filippo Amato, made this clarification in an email on Tuesday, wherein he added that some other agricultural products had occasionally been rejected at the EU borders due to high level of pesticides which is dangerous for human health.

He lamented that the suspension measure adopted in June, 2015 had been wrongly reported and had created confusion and uncertainty  for exporters who can continue to export to the EU as long as there is compliance with applicable food requirements.

Read More: thisdaylive

Nigerian En Route To Dubai Arrested With N1bn Cash In Niger Republic

The police in neighbouring Niger Republic have arrested a Nigerian carrying 4.6m Euros (N1.05bn) in cash. The man was arrested at the Diori Hamani Airport in Niamey, the capital of Niger, en route Dubai in the United Arab Emirate.

The Nigerien police said they suspected that the man was fleeing with the money in order to avoid being caught by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been prosecuting an anti-corruption campaign since assumption of office on May 29.

They also expressed worry that there had been an upsurge in the number of Nigerians trafficking huge sums of money in cash through the neighbouring country.

The police in Niger are already working on the suspicion that the money traffickers have accomplices in the country.

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Nigerian Air Force Redeploys Senior Officers

The Nigerian Air Force has released the redeployment and appointments of some senior officers, a statement by air force spokesperson, Dele Alonge, said.

Mr. Alonge said the officers deployed to new duty posts are four branch chiefs, three air officers commanding and two commandants.

According to him, the four branch chiefs at the air force headquarters are Air Vice Marshal A.A. Iya, formally the Chairman Air Exposition and International Liaison Secretariat, now appointed Chief of Training and Operations; AVM A.M. Mamu the former Air Officer Commanding, Training Command Kaduna, now takes charge as the Chief of Administration.

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Seven Die As Nigerian Air Force Aircraft Crashes

Seven people have been killed after an aircraft belonging to the Nigerian Air Force crashed at the old site of the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna , Northwest Nigeria.

The casualties include all four crew members and three passengers. The victims were travelling from the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna en route Abuja.

Emergency officials say the helicopter crashed less than ten minutes after taking off.

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Nigeria’s Economy In Trouble, As Oil Price Crashes Even Lower

Nigeria’s economy may be heading for trouble, as oil price crashed even lower at the weekend, thereby threatening the 2015 budget and fiscal plan.

The international price of crude hit a six-year low below USD40 per barrel with West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures as low as USD39.89, while Brent crude declined further to USD45.10 from previous week’s level of USD48.87 per barrel. Nigeria’s sweet crude is similar to the Brent.

It is envisaged that prices will crash even further once Iran begins to enyoy its international pardon by pumping more oil into the already saturated market.

This will spell more doom for Nigeria, which is producing less than its projected 2 million barrels daily, thereby increasing the cash crunch and liquidity flow in the economy, with many states still unable to pay salaries.economy1

The steep decline in oil prices had in March this year forced the National Assembly to settle for USD53 per barrel as the oil benchmark price for 2015 budget, down from USD65 earlier proposed by the Federal Executive Council under ex-president Goodluck Jonathan. The government had earlier in the year effected downward review of the budget benchmark twice in response to sliding oil price from USD78 to USD73 and later to USD65. It even said it had planned for possible price fall scenarios of up to $50/barrel.

With this development, economists are expecting further downwards adjustments in the budgetary benchmark, revenue projections and ultimately expenditure provisions. Also, they expect further pressure on the value of Naira as the development has wiped off any accretion to the country’s Excess Crude Account.

According to the Global Chief Economist, Renaissance Capital, Mr. Charles Robertson, lower oil price will be painful for the budget. It means less money is available for much-needed investment in infrastructure.

Budget projections

The 2015 budget had envisaged federal government’s share to be about N3.6 trillion of total oil component revenue at USD65 per barrel, with estimated production output of 2million barrels per day.

At current oil price, the component accruable to the federal government would drop massively to less than N2.5 trillion, putting the entire budget in disarray. Evidently all the projected expenditure, Vanguard learnt, are already being curtailed in the recurrent expenditure provisions in the budget, while capital expenditure of N634 billion is completely dropped.

Read full story via:  Vanguard

FG Writes India Over Nigerian ISIS Suspects

The Nigerian embassy in Delhi, India, has written to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to see the two Nigerians that were arrested in Punjab recently while on their way to Pakistan, allegedly to join the Islamic State terrorist group.

The two youths from Kano, identified as Imran Kabeer and Sani Jamiliu, are currently being detained by the Punjab Police in India.

The spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ogbole Ahmedu-Ode, confirmed that the Nigerian embassy officials had applied to see the suspects to “ascertain their claim of Nigerian nationality.”

“Our embassy in India has applied for consular access to see the boys so that we can ascertain their claim of Nigerian nationality,” he said.

Read More: punchng

Scavengers Rape, Rob Female Banker In Abuja

A female banker was raped and robbed at gun point by scavengers who sneaked into her car at Mabushi. The hoodlums also forced her into promising not to report the case to the police.
The scavengers, according to police sources laid wait for the woman along a popular shopping mall in Mabushi from where they forced her to drive the car with them to a dumping area where they molested, raped and robbed her.
“The woman parked her car opposite NEXT Park and Shop. When she came out, she noticed that her car was open. She thought she forgot to lock it, as she wanted to drive out, one of the criminals who was already hidden at the back seat pointed a locally made pistol at the back of her head while another brought out dagger and told her to drive,” the source said.
City News gathered that they forced her to drive to the dumping area in Mabushi where they carried
out their assault on her.
“The miscreants let her go after they made her promise that she will not report the incident to the police,” it said.
When our reporter visited the victim at a private hospital in Jabi, she said she reported the incident at Mabushi Police Station.
The embittered woman said her focus is to fully recover physically and mentally as the bruises on her face and laps were visibly fresh.
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Chief Superintendent Ayobami Surajudeen, expressed shock over the incident and said that he just resumed duty as the new DPO in the area and that the first thing he has done after receiving series of complaints was invite the leaders of the scavengers operating there.
“The brief I got was that the scavengers are aggressive and what we have decided to do is to have our patrol vehicle stationed in the place 24 hours a day. They are the only people living in the area but there is this speculation that most of the items they have in the place are stolen and we will do everything within our resources to curb their activities,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mabushi residents have expressed satisfaction with steps taken by the new divisional police officer deployed to the area.
They said they are in the right direction following increased cases of armed robbery in the community.
A resident, Charles Jimoh, said that the news is a welcome development as robbery attack incidents in the area have doubled over the last one month.

Pres. Buhari’s Speech To Young Nigerians To Mark International Youth Day

It is a great pleasure for me to address you this morning at this important occasion as we join other nations across the world to commemorate the 2015 International Youth Day. I am aware that it is in line with the United Nations Resolution 54/120 (19th Dec. 1999) to observe 12th August of every year as a day to celebrate and appreciate the contribution of the youth to their various communities. The appointment of an Envoy on Youth by the United Nations Secretary General is a clear indication of the attention youth issues are accorded around the world.

2.?The International Youth Day, therefore, constitutes part of the United Nation’s broader World Programme of Action for Youth. This is a laudable initiative targeted at promoting the general wellbeing and livelihood of young people with its priority focus on education, employment, poverty and hunger, drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, inter-generational issues amongst others. This year’s theme tagged youth “Civic Engagement” is very apt. We strongly believe that the engagement and participation of young people is necessary in order to accelerate economic growth and sustainable development.

3.?As we commemorate this year’s International Youth Day, let me use this moment to once again pay tribute to all the young people who played significant roles in making the 2015 General Elections a model for democratic governance in Africa. The role you played, individually and collectively, in not only being peaceful members of the electorate but also galvanising the social media platform and mobilizing your peers to make the right choice. Your role contributed in no small measure to having a credible election in an atmosphere that was hitherto tense and volatile. The outcome is today being celebrated worldwide. Your role is greatly appreciated.

4.?I can assure you, my young compatriots, that you have written your names in history and you will be remembered as true heroes of our democracy and as architects of change.

5.?Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, you may wish to note that Africa is the most ‘youthful’ continent in the world. According to the figures I have been presented with, at least 20 percent of the continent’s population of 1.2 billion is between the age bracket of 15 – 24 years, with about 42% below 15 years of age. As the rest of the world gets older, Africa is getting younger. This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. It all depends on what we make of it.

Therefore, one of the greatest challenges facing governments and policy makers in Africa today is how to provide opportunities and meet the needs of young people, the vast majority of whom need to be empowered to enable them to lead decent lives and contribute their quota to the socio economic and political development of their countries.

6.?Correctly harnessed, this tremendous labour force could propel us to take a quantum leap in developing our infrastructure so that Nigeria can join the 21st Century.

7.?Some of you may recall that African leaders, at the Malabo 2011Summit, committed themselves to providing employment, whether directly or indirectly, for at least 3% of its unemployed young people every year. For us, the meeting in Malabo 2011, marked another turning point in the continent’s quest for development. The summit adopted that all member States should advance the youth agenda and adopt policies and mechanisms towards the creation of safe, decent and competitive employment opportunities. This would be achieved by accelerating the implementation of the Youth Decade Plan of Action (2009 – 2018) and the Ouagadougou 2004 Plan of Action on Employment Promotion and Poverty Alleviation. African leaders have since stepped up efforts to give voice, visibility and platforms to the youth to advocate for more investments in their future.

8.?It is, however, an issue of serious concern that in Nigeria, so far, economic growth has not translated into commensurate and improved social outcomes, especially for our 60 million young people who made up the majority of the population. Consequently our youth migrate from rural to urban areas and from this country to other countries across borders, in search of greener pastures.

9.?Distinguished ladies and gentlemen and my beloved youth, I want to assure you that the new Administration will place high premium in tackling challenges facing the youth sector.

10.?According to the National Bureau of Statistics, unemployment remains a major concern in Nigeria, with rates rising from 6.4% in 2006 to 24.20% in the first quarter of 2015. The unemployment rate among youth is even more disturbing and considered to be over 50% due to the sheer number of unemployed graduates and a huge number of youth who have had no chance to go to school roaming about the streets.

11.?It is worth noting that although educational attainment by Nigerian young people has increased significantly in the last decade, the relevance of curricula, quality of education and the fit with skills required by the job market, still remains a challenge for us as a country.

Unsuitable qualifications limit our young peoples’ employment prospects and potential to contribute to national development. Our new Administration is poised to providing an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive so as to ensure greater opportunities for jobs to be created for our young people.

12.?This we believe will assist in reducing criminal activities and terrorism. We have resolved to provide adequate infrastructure and strengthen our job creation institutions in order to increase opportunities for our young people. For Nigeria to sustainably create jobs and ensure growth, we will pay special attention to the growth of our Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. This can be achieved through boosting the intervention funds as guaranteed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

13.?In order to ensure that young people are healthy, skilled and educationally empowered, we will strengthen our academic and vocational training institutions as well as significantly improve our healthcare delivery system.

14.?Young Nigerians, let me conclude by reiterating that we are very much committed to fulfilling all our campaign promises. We, therefore, seek your cooperation and patience in this regard. Be assured that “change” for us is not a mere political slogan but the beginning of a new era desired by the majority of Nigerians. The youth must therefore be vanguards of this change and at the same time be the change that they wish to see. To this end and knowing that sustainable development cannot take place in the absence of peace, we must all work together towards the actualization of sustainable peace and harmony to enable this administration to build an enduring legacy. It is on this note that I wish the Nigerian youth happy 2015 International Youth Day celebration.

15.?Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

I thank you all.

US Based Nigerian Sends Teens To Nigeria To Learn Gratitude

A dad wanting his twin teen sons, accustomed to the comforts of the country club, to learn some gratitude took an unusual step.

According to WPCO, a Cincinnati-based TV station, he sent the 14-year-olds to spend the seventh grade in Nigeria.

The boys, Noble and Evan Nwankwo, spent seventh grade at Mea Mater Elizabeth High School in Enugu. There, the day starts with 5 am exercise and prayer, and continues with a 12-subject course load. There’s no help from mum on homework or washing clothes, either.

“Adversity is important in somebody’s development in life, as far as I’m concerned, because there comes a time when the storm is going to hit you, and if you never had that to fall back on you’re just going to fall apart,” Evans Nwankwo, the father, said. “I strongly believe that because it’s been important in my own development.”

Read More: thisdaylive

“President Buhari , Appoint Ministers Now Or Step Down” — Lagos lawyer

Controversial Lagos lawyer and activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has filed a fresh suit against the Buhari government for ‘delaying to form a cabinet and for running the affairs of Nigeria as a lone ranger as well as in a dictatorial manner.’

In a suit he filed today at the Federal High Court, Lagos, the lawyer said the continued stay of action of President Buhari on the appointment of his Ministers was contrary to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The lawyer therefore requested for the determination of the following questions:

That : 1. Whether under and by virtue of section 147(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the 1st Respondent is not obliged and under a duty to appoint qualified persons into offices to function as the Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, upon his swearing in and oath of office since May 29, 2015.

2. Whether the failure, omission or neglect by the 1st Respondent to appoint qualified persons into offices to function as the Ministers of The Federal Republic of Nigeria is not illegal and a contravention of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, such as to disqualify the 1st Respondent from continuing to function in office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

3. Whether the 1st Respondent is entitled to run and administer the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as his personal family empire or as a lone ranger and in a dictatorial manner, without appointing qualified persons to run the affairs of the country with him in the Federal Executive Council in contravention of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

4. Whether under and by virtue of Section 148(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the 1st Respondent is not under a duty to hold regular meetings with Ministers of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, duly appointed by him, to formulate policies for and plan the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not to be running and operating same as a private family empire or as a lone ranger or as a dictator.

5. Whether the 1st Respondent, upon his swearing in and oath of office since May 29, 2015, is entitled to abandon, discard or jettison the office and residence of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, otherwise known as Aso Rock Villa, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and to be running the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from some illegal and unknown location or premises other than the said Aso Rock Villa.

6. Whether under and by virtue of Section 150 CFRN 1999, the 1st Respondent being a commissioned officer of the Nigeria Army (now retired) trained strictly in warfare and garrison affairs is so qualified, fit and proper to run the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria alone and without a qualified person appointed into the office of Attorney General of The Federation.

Credit – ynaija.com

Boko Haram: African Military Chiefs Meet In Abuja

The Chief of Defence staff of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger Republic as well as heads of Intelligence and Security Agencies of the African countries met in Abuja today to discuss the successful operation of the modified version of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in the fight against Boko Haram in the region. More photos from the meeting below…

Ghana Airlines Bar Nigerian From Travelling

Three Ghanaian domestic airlines have barred a physically-challenged Nigerian, Ndifreke Andrew-Essien from travelling.

One of the airlines had also refused to refund Andrew-Essien, a fellow of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

The three airlines, Africa World Airlines, Antrak Air and Starbow Airlines told the Nigerian, who uses a wheelchair to move around that she could not board the plane from Accra to Tamale because of her condition.

“I live in Port Harcourt (Rivers State) where I run a non profit organisation. I secured an internship with an organisation in Ghana and I was posted to Salaga which is in the Northern Province of Ghana. The route via air, is Port Harcourt to Lagos; Lagos to Accra and Accra to Tamale. My flights were booked by an agent. On getting to the domestic airport in Accra, I presented my ticket to the airline—Africa World Airline— where my reservations had been made for the Accra-Tamale stretch, but was called aside by the airline official who told me I would not be able to fly with the airline.

“He stated that the airline does not fly with wheelchair-bound passengers, because they don’t have facilities for such a purpose. I told them it wouldn’t be a problem as I had experienced the general lack of facilities when it comes to persons with disabilites. I assured the airline staff that I was ready to work with the airline despite its inadequacy,” Andrew-Essien told SUNDAY PUNCH.

However, her entreaties were rebuffed by the airline which she quoted as saying, “We don’t fly wheelchair-bound passengers. It is not our policy.”

The Nigerian said she was forced to travel by road which took about 13 hours to her destination.

“I do not intend this (discriminatory policy) to stop me from achieving my aim. Persons with disabilities are faced with all kinds of issues when it comes to inclusion. This is a clear example of how, in the 21st century, Africa is still not forward-thinking in building a continent for all its citizens.”

Andrew-Essien said she was calling on Africa World Airlines and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority to reverse the discriminatory policy that prevents people living with disabilities from travelling. She also called on them to provide necessary equipment to travel with them.

All efforts made by our correspondent to speak to the airlines and Ghana’s CAA proved abortive as emails sent to them were not replied.


Ebola Volunteers Return With Sad Tales Of Maltreatment By AU Officials, Nigerian Govt.

Nigerians who volunteered to help fight the deadly Ebola disease in Sierra Leone and Liberia, returned home a fortnight ago, after spending about six months on the frontline against a virus that ravaged several countries last year, killing over 20,000.

The volunteers returned alive and well, although they are yet to complete an expected 21-day quarantine period.

But they have sad tales of deprivation and maltreatment, and accuse officials of the Nigerian government and the African Union of stealing from them while they risked their lives.

On Wednesday, some of the volunteers were locked in a hotel in Abuja where they had camped since returning to Nigeria, after days of bickering with health ministry officials.

PREMIUM TIMES’ investigation, interviews with officials of the Nigerian government and the AU, and several volunteers since their arrival in Abuja, show a programme that was beset by crisis, poor management and fraud, worse than the hotel scandal.

“I have now confirmed that serving or representing Nigeria is a waste of time as the country treats those who have done her proud shabbily,” said Oladimeji Adepoju, a medical doctor volunteer.

Mr. Adepoju and 197 other Nigerian volunteers travelled to the two West African countries in December, to help stem the tide of Ebola. Their ordeal began even before they departed Nigeria.

Read Morepremiumtimesng

Zimbabwe Hits Back At Nigerian “Boko Haram” Scribes

 Zimbabwe has reacted angrily to Nigerian journalists who ambushed President Robert Mugabe during the recent inauguration of Muhammadu Buhari, the newly-installed leader of the West African country.

Journalists identified as reporters from Sahara News ambushed Mugabe and his African Union (AU) delegation demanding that he steps down from his position as Zimbabwe head of state.

The scribes hurled abuse at the 91-year-old leader who has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980.

However, Harare has hit back, with outspoken Minister of Information, Prof. Jonathan Moyo likening the journalists in question to “brothers and sisters of Boko Haram.”

The Islamic militant Boko Haram has over the years embarked on a reign of terror in Nigeria where it has killed thousands and displaced about 2 million.

“If Nigerian journalism has come to this, then God help Nigeria since nobody has monopoly over such uncouth misconduct. It is a sad tale of a man biting a dog when journalists make news they should be covering,” Moyo said.

“Free countries have rules, including diplomatic courtesy, not the display of Boko Haram journalism. Of course, those are human beings, but are they journalists or Boko Haram,” asked Moyo.

Relations between Zimbabwe have sometimes been frosty over the years. Mugabe has previously labeled the West African country as a corrupt nation.

Former Nigeria head of state, Olusegun Obasanjo, courted detestation from some Zimbabwean political leaders during his stint as mediator to the deadlock between Zimbabwe and former colonialist, Britain at the turn of the millenium.

Credit: CAJ News

Ufot Ekong Solves 30-Yr-Old Mathematical Equation, Breaks Academic Record At Japanese University

A Nigerian student, Ufot Ekong who is from Akwa Ibom State has become the first Nigerian to receive a First Class degree and become the best overall student from Tokai University in Tokyo, Japan since 1965.

In addition, Ekong was able to solve a  30 year unresolved  mathematical equation and he did that in his first semester.

Honouring his hard work, Ekong won the Japanese language award for foreigners and two patents under his name for developing an electric car.

Now that’s Impressive!


Nigerian Who Fled To Australia & Became A Successful Model Jailed After Police Lured Him To London With Fake Photoshoot

30 year old Nigerian successful model Ben Fiberesima, skipped bail in the UK, fled to Australia where he lived for seven years under a false name, modeled for Calvin Klein, Tom Ford, boasted of jet set lifestyle, wrote a self-help book, called himself a millionaire, claimed he was in the Great Gatsby and bragged about being an 11-time underground rap battle champion. The fugitive was arrested after police lured him to a fake swimwear photoshoot in London. Read full story below…
From UK Evening Standard:

A gangster who launched a successful career as a male model and musician while on the run in Australia has been snared in an extraordinary police sting.

Fugitive Ben Fiberesima, 30, appeared in campaigns by fashion designers such as Tom Ford after skipping bail while facing trial on fraud and weapons charges in London seven years ago. He also performed as a critically-acclaimed rap artist under the name Roky Million, releasing singles and videos downloaded by tens of thousands of fans.

The gang member from South Kilburn was picked as one of the first people to trial the “Google Glass” for a style magazine, and in a self-help book published last year claimed he was “worth seven figures by the age of 26”.

His jetset lifestyle – which he claimed also included hanging out with supermodels and stars of Aussie soap Home and Away – ended when Met detectives swooped last year using an elaborate sting to detain him.

Officers from Brent’s Wanted Offenders Unit received an anonymous tip-off that Fiberesima was back in London in August living under a false name but were unable to locate him.

Then detectives discovered he was on the books of a respected models agency based in Covent Garden.

An officer contacted the agency claiming to represent the fake company WOU Photography and booked Fiberesima for a casting call to model a range of luxury swimwear.
When he arrived for what he thought was his next assignment at the studio in Kentish Town, Fiberesima was arrested at the door.

Fiberesima was jailed for three years and nine months after being found guilty of two counts of theft, two counts of making false representation and possessing an offensive weapon at Harrow Crown Court earlier this month.

He also pleaded guilty to three counts of making false representation and one count of possessing a prohibited weapon.

Fiberesima was originally arrested in September 2008 after calling police claiming someone was attempting to enter his flat in Christchurch Avenue, Brondesbury, north-west London.
When officers arrived, there was no intruder but they did find a stun gun, a can of CS gas and stolen chequebooks belonging to a neighbour.

He was arrested and charged with fraud, theft and possession of an offensive weapon.

The gang member from the South Kilburn estate was granted bail but failed to appear at court and was subsequently discovered to have fled the country.

Fiberesima’s Established Models biography claims: “Raised in London Roky used his talent for rhyming to be crowned UK Underground rap battle champion 11 times. He has travelled extensively modelling for international brands including Calvin Klein, Nike, Tom Ford and YSL.”

It also states that “Roky appeared in Baz Luhrman’s film, The Great Gatsby” although the Standard was unable to find his name in the film’s credits.
During his time on the run, Fiberesima published a self-help book called Roky’s Power Gain 50 – Rules To Live By To Gain Power, Money and Influence.

He said he had gone from “working class to millionaire in 15 months”, writing: “I grew up in government housing and have been for 80 per cent of my life. I am now worth seven figures at age 26. I used my in depth knowledge of power to change my fortunes.”
The last message on his Twitter feed, posted in December last year, said: “To all: Roky’s in the 5% of rappers that can genuinely be described as ‘real’ so as is life he’ll be away til further notice #management.”

In one interview for an online fashion magazine Fiberesima talks of how he started travelling the world at the age of 23 and visited countries including France, Belgium, Spain and Australia while he modelled for designers including Calvin Klein, Tom Ford and Yves Saint Laurent.
He declares : “I have had ups and downs, trials and tribulations, like everyone else” and said in his youth he mixed with gang members but had since changed his life.
He added: “ I keep it as honest as I can.”

Detective Inspector Pete Wallis of Brent CID said: “There is clear message here, that we will not forget you if you offend, and we will explore all options in tracing you and bringing you to justice.
“Mr Fiberesima used false identities to evade capture for five years and developed a very public persona in Australia and internationally as a rap artist and model.

“Thankfully he is now paying for his crimes, due to the perseverance of Brent’s Wanted Offenders Unit.”
A spokesman for Established Models said he had been on their books as Mr Million for a few months two years ago. He said : “He was not working, so we let him go. “

Over 103 Nigerian Products Rejected Globally- FG

The Federal Government on Thursday lamented that within the last five years, over 103 Nigerian products, which were exported to other countries, have been rejected for not meeting acceptable international quality standards.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, stated this in Abuja while unveiling the new office complex of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria. Aganga said the high volume of rejected products was not acceptable.
He attributed the development to lack of accredited laboratories in the country, where the products could be tested before being shipped abroad. For instance, he said while the rate of rejected products exported from Nigeria was over 103, countries like South Africa and Ghana had just six and seven rejected products.
The minister, however, said with the reforms that had been carried out by the current administration within the last four years, Nigeria now had an internationally-accredited laboratory in Lagos, which would help to check the drift.
He explained that since the laboratory in Lagos meets international standard, any product tested there would be acceptable anywhere outside the country, thus saving the huge revenue being lost to manufacturers and countries wherever there was product reject.
He said, “We all say we want to diversify the economy with a view to increasing our income from non oil products. But there is no way we can achieve this without having quality infrastructure such as the laboratory.

“For instance, we could not export yam to the United Kingdom because we do not have a laboratory to test it here. Those who export products in Nigeria take them to Ghana to test them and the credit goes to Ghana.

Read More: punchng

12 Nigerian, Ghanaian Christian Migrants ‘Thrown’ Overboard By Muslim

Italian police said Thursday they had arrested a group of African migrants after witnesses said they threw 12 passengers overboard following a row about religion on a boat headed to Europe.

The deadly dispute, which saw a group of Muslim passengers allegedly attack a group of Christian passengers, coincided with reports of a new migrant drowning tragedy.

Four days after a migrant shipwreck off the coast of Libya, in which 400 people are believed to have died, another 41 migrants were missing feared drowned Thursday after their dinghy sank en route to Italy, Italian media reported.

The stricken vessel was spotted by a plane, which alerted the Italian coastguard but by the time a navy ship arrived at the spot only four passengers were found alive, the reports quoted the police and aid agencies as saying.

The four survivors, who came from Nigeria, Ghana and Niger, said they were part of a group of 45 people that set sail from Libya.

A separate group of migrants rescued by an Italian vessel related a deadly standoff over religion in their dinghy, which ended in 12 Nigerian and Ghanaian passengers being drowned, the police said.

The victims were “of Christian faith, compared to their attackers who were of Muslim faith,” police in the Sicilian port of Palermo said in a statement.

Fifteen migrants were arrested on suspicion of “multiple aggravated murder motivated by religious hate”, the statement added.

The incident aboard the vessel, which was carrying about 100 migrants, took place in the Strait of Sicily, between Tunisia and Italy.

Read More: vanguardngr

No Nigerian Killed In SA Xenophobic Attacks- Obanikoro

 As shocking photos and videos of xenophobic attacks against African immigrants by South Africans shocks the world,the Nigerian Minister of State II for Foreign Affairs, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has said that from available information from the Mission in South Africa, no Nigerian casualty has been ascertained in the ongoing xenophobic attacks in the country.He said the situation is being closely monitored and the Jonathan-led government will do all to protect its citizens in South Africa.

He said,

 “from the information emanating from our Mission in South Africa, no Nigerian casualty has been ascertained.”Our Acting High Commissioner to South Africa is in Durban right now to ensure the safety of Nigerian citizens in the affected areas. Our Acting High Commissioner to South Africa has the directive of our Government to address all issues arising from the crisis, ” he posted on Twitter.


Nigerian Man Jumps White House Fence

A Nigerian named Dominic Adesanya, who lives in Maryland in the United States, has been arrested for jumping the fence of the country’s White House.

Police reports say the 23-year old Adesanya climbed the fence on the North Lawn of the building around 7.15 pm yesterday, and got about 20 yards past the fence before he was arrested by the Secret Service and dogs.

Though currently in police custody, reports has it that he is being treated in a hospital for injuries he sustained during the encounter as he was attacked by K.9 dogs. Some of the dogs also had to undergo treatment following kicks they received from Adesanya.

Read more at http://dailypost.ng/2014/10/23/nigerian-born-man-arrested-scaling-white-house-fence-2/

Nigerian Evacuated Passenger Tests Negative for Ebola

The Nigerian passenger who was taken to a Madrid hospital from an Air France plane by police-escorted ambulance over fears he was suffering from Ebola has tested negative for the disease, the Spanish government said on Friday.

Spain is on high alert for the disease after Romero, a nurse who cared for two Ebola-infected priests before they died, became the first person to contract the virus outside West Africa. She is gravely ill but stable.

Although the two people tested negative for the disease initially, they must have another test within 72 hours in order to be given the all clear, the government said.

The United States, which is deploying up to 4,000 troops to West Africa to help contain the disease, has asked Madrid for permission to use U.S. military bases in Spain in its operation, a Spanish Defense Ministry source said on Thursday.

A decision is due to be announced on Friday when Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes meets his U.S. counterpart Chuck Hagel in Washington. Madrid was set to agree to the request to use the bases at Rota near Cadiz and at Moron de la Frontera near Seville in southern Spain, the source said.

Post-Snow Photoshoot

Hey guys!

Firstly, I’d like to apologise for not having a post over the last few weeks. I took a break from photography in December because I had exams in January. I finally finished exams last week so I was eager to get my camera out and take a few pictures.

I usually do not have enough time to take pictures, as I am still in school and when I’m not in school, I am in the library. But luckily I found a way to fit photography in. I finish school early on Fridays so I decided to take my camera to school every Friday.

Last Friday I did a shoot with my friend, Chisara. It was supposed to be a snow shoot, but the snow had almost disappeared when I was ready to shoot 🙁 I’m not sure if it will snow again, but if it does I will be running out with my camera immediately.

I had a great time taking these pictures with Chisara and I’m quite happy with the way they turned out.

I hope you like them as much as I do.

WordPress changed their photo settings so I am still trying to understand it.

I have posted today’s pictures on my website instead. Check them out here!

Culinary Art

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love food. I even have a nickname because of my love for food, but I won’t tell you guys what it is. It’s rather embarrassing; but far be it from me to stop loving food because of it.

Growing up, I’ve always been surrounded by food because my mum runs a culinary company right from our house in Lagos, Nigeria. The bakery forms part of the house, and she loves cooking. She loves cooking so much; I think the cooking genes were dominant enough to present themselves in some of her children.

Yes, you guessed right. I’m not the best cook in the world. Heck, I rarely throw it down in the kitchen, but I’m glad to let you know that it did not affect my ability to capture food through my lens. I’ve always been of the opinion that the best way to enjoy photography is to try something you’ve never done before – get out of your comfort zone! I used to hate going out, but then I realised how much beauty you can find in the world if you just look in the right places, in the right state of mind. So, now, I try my best to get out of the house at least twice a week with my camera hanging from my neck. Anyway, I digress.

Food photography never quite struck me as something I would invest a significant amount of time in, but the more my mum cooked and asked me to capture her food, the more I enjoyed it. So we had a barbeque in my house last week and my mum went all out with the cooking. But guess what? So did I, with my photographing, ha!

I thoroughly enjoyed taking these pictures and editing them, so it is my pleasure to present them to you, hoping you enjoy looking at them, and enjoy just how beautiful the art of culinary can be. But, more importantly, I hope this inspires an appreciation of GOOD food in you.


I’ll end this post with a picture of my sister, Lola. I know this post is about food, but she’s quite yummy, so it’s all well and good.

She’s beautiful, isn’t she? I want to be like her when I grow up.