Saturday, 21 January 2017

Nigerian diplomat’s son jailed for rape, murder

A court in Scotland on Friday sentenced a Nigerian man to life in prison after finding him guilty of raping and killing a sex worker in February 2016, Scottish press reported. Bala Chinda, a 26-year-old son of a Nigerian diplomat, murdered Nkechi McGraa by asphyxiation at an apartment in Union Terrace, Aberdeen, Scotland’s Press and Journal reported. The reports said Mr. Chinda approached Ms. McGraa, a 37-year-old mother of one and commercial sex worker, for her service the night before the incident on February 11, 2016. A violent rage broke out between the two when Mr. Chinda could not pay for Ms. McGraa’s service the next day, which led to her death after being beaten and suffocated, according to court proceedings. Mr. Chinda then fled the scene of the incident, destroying all evidence that could link him with the fatal attack. His victim’s body, half naked, was found the next day on February 12 by neighbours, the paper said.

Jessica McGraa | Photo credit:
Jessica McGraa | Photo credit:
Although Mr. Chinda, whose father is said to be attached to Nigerian embassy in Beijing, China, denied the charges, a jury unanimously found him guilty of the murder and sentenced him to life with a minimum of 18 years behind bars. The presiding judge, Lord Beckett, confronted Mr. Chinda with his offences shortly before sentencing him and thanked the prosecutors for doing a thorough job to secure a conviction.
“You raped a woman and made her undergo sexual intercourse without the protection of a condom,” Mr. Beckett said. “You then murdered her, by smothering her with a pillow, and strangling her, probably using her scarf.”
“You then sought to hide evidence which would link you to her. “You might have got away with this but for the excellent police work which led to your detection, arrest and conviction,” he added. Scottish press described Ms. McGraa as a Nigerian.


In December 2016, the federal government launched a new information app called Federal Government of Nigeria Information App (FGN IAPP) to help close information gap between the federal government and Nigerians.
Beyond serving as a medium to send undiluted and factual information directly to Nigerians and bringing about a paradigm shift in the way the government communicates with the citizens, the FGN IAPP is poised to be a good resource for motivation and inspiration for Nigerians with the BE INSPIRED section of the mobile app.
The “Be Inspired” feature is aimed at motivating young entrepreneurs, academics, professionals and those aspiring for greater heights to meet those who have made their mark in different fields.
According to the developer, Mr Olawale Wale-Falope, Nigerians on a monthly basis will be given the chance of a life transforming session with a top government official, business icon, celebrity, professionals or industry leader who will inspire them to greatness.
“We aim to bring inspiration at its best to Nigerians who have downloaded the app on their gadgets,” said Wale-Falope.
While declaring the first draw for, he said the very first “Be Inspired” icon would be Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Africa's richest man and one of the most powerful individuals in the world in 2016, according to Forbes.

“Entries will be received via the app only, which is readily available on app stores,” he said.

He advised that subscribers read through the terms and conditions carefully before beginning the process.

To participate, download FGN IAPP from Apple App store or Google Play Store by clicking on the relevant link below and Register under the Be Inspired section of the app. - Android - IOS

White House website: Civil rights history deleted under new President

The White House’s webpage on civil rights has been deleted, just hours after Donald Trump was inaugurated as President.

Previously a page marking the history of civil rights in the US the page has now been removed. The page appears to have been replaced by one entitled ‘Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community’ which states there is a “dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America” as well as a “tide of lawlessness associated with illegal immigration”.

The move will risk infuriating more of his predecessor’s supporters, as Mr Obama’s election as the first African American President is considered a major milestone in civil rights progress in the US.
No new page on civil rights appears to have been posted elsewhere on the site as a replacement for the old webpage.
The new webpage states: ”One of the fundamental rights of every American is to live in a safe community. A Trump Administration will empower our law enforcement officers to do their jobs and keep our streets free of crime and violence. The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration. President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.”

It continues: “President Trump is committed to building a border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities. He is dedicated to enforcing our border laws, ending sanctuary cities, and stemming the tide of lawlessness associated with illegal immigration.

“Supporting law enforcement also means deporting illegal aliens with violent criminal records who have remained within our borders.”

The webpage is one of a number which has been deleted from the White House website immediately after Mr Trump assumed office. Other pages include those on climate change and LGBT issues, other topics with which Mr Obama was closely associated during his presidency and which his successor has been deeply critical of.

Mr Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States in the traditional ceremony, accompanied by his family. He told supporters: Today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another- but transferring it from Washington DC and giving it back to you the people.

“For too long a small group in our nation's capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.

”Washington flourished but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed.

“The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country.” INDEPENDENT

Friday, 20 January 2017

PMAN National Elections 2017: Is the tune finally right for the musicians?

Uncertainty that has clouded prospect of a common front for the Performing Musicians Employers’ Association of Nigeria, PMAN, may soon be a thing of the past as the music house is set to finally come together and hold its national elections come January 31, this year.

Speaking at the Lagos State Chapter of PMAN’s monthly meeting held at the state secretariat, Sir Kareem Olomide Osoba, Governor General of PMAN, Lagos State Chapter, stated that the consensus on the election was reached through the intervention of the Minister for Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige. 

According to Sir Osoba, the minister constituted a caretaker committee to organise a credible election, thereby rendering null and void any other elections as far as PMAN at the national level is concerned.

Governor General of PMAN then appealed to all members to come together and work toward the realisation of a more formidable front for the association. 

Sir Kareem Osoba
“Since the federal government has intervened in the problems facing PMAN,” Sir Osoba said, “and Dr. Ngige has constituted a caretaker committee to organise elections on January 31, it is therefore important for members to abide by this to resolve the age long crises in the PMAN.”
He pointedly asked Pretty Okafor, a factional president of the association to obey the law and submit himself for the elections. In his words, “I hereby use this opportunity to appeal to Pretty Okafor to abide by what the majority put their interests on. And unless he picks up the form to contest in the coming election in Abuja, Lagos Chapter of PMAN doesn’t recognise him as president.”

He, however, encouraged members to pick up their nomination forms as Lagos State Chapter of PMAN has no preferred candidates but would only support whoever is ready to work for the progress of the association both at the state and national levels. 

The meeting which was well attended by members and journalists had the likes of Chief Fruitful Mekwunye and Yinka Best, amongst others, declaring for the posts of president and first vice president respectively in the coming elections.

I didn't order Gani Adams to resign - Ooni

The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II refuted a newspaper report in which he was quoted to have ordered Otunba Gani Adams to vacate his position as the National Coordinator of the Oodua People's Congress(OPC).
Ooni Ogunwusi made this known in a statement released by his Director of Media and Public Affairs Comrade Moses Olafare who described Gani Adams as an unapologetic loyalist of Ooni'risa saying the veteran Yoruba Self-determinationist Adams has invested so much of resources into the socio-cultural emancipation of Oodua race and can only be treated with a deserved reciprocation of love and respect as a patriotic Ooduan who has never hesitated to demonstrate love and respect to the sacred throne of Oduduwa.
"Baba Ooni never at anytime claimed to have ordered Otunba Gani Adams to resign as the Leader of the OPC. He sees him as an unapologetic loyalist son who has always treated him as his father with love and absolute respect.
"Otunba Adams is a great Ooduan and veteran Oodua Self-determinationist who has invested so much the socio-cultural emancipation of the Oodua race. That is why we have always welcomed him as a member of the inner chamber of the Ooni's Palace". Olafare said.
On the request by a factional group of OPC members on a visit to the Ooni at Ile-Ife recently begging him to intervene in the OPC matters, the Yoruba foremost king admonished all the factions within the Pan-Yoruba group to close ranks and work together as one big family in the interest of unity and peace in Yorubaland.
"Baba said to them to close ranks in the interest of peace and unity of Yorubaland. He assured them of his fatherly support at all time as long as the unity of Yorubaland is not in jeopardy.
Kabiyesi Ooni'risa is even expecting the members of OPC, and the members of Oodua Progressives Union (OPU) as well as the members of Olokun Festival Foundation at the annual Oodua Festival slated for January 25th and 26th in Ile-Ife". Olafare added.

Thursday, 19 January 2017


The Lagos State Government has said that there is no one cap fits all model for the implementation of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) initiative of a-meal a-day Home Grown School Feeding Programme, adding that there was the need to domesticate the implementation and act locally.
Speaking at a workshop to determine how best the FGN a-meal a-day school feeding programme can be implemented, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Adesina Odeyemi, stated that the present administration will take cognizance of the staple foods of the locality, nutritional value of meals, logistics, mode of selection of vendors, orientation, tradition and culture of the people amongst others in its implementation of the scheme.
According to her, “Every Nigerian child deserves the same healthy start as children born in Asia, America and Europe and should have a healthy start in life and a fairer opportunity to fulfill their potential for themselves, their families, and the nation.”
While stressing that the School Feeding Program is a veritable way of raising our literacy level, Adebule maintained that the introduction of the scheme is expected to create new jobs, increase food production by up to 530,000 metric tons per annum, as well as attract fresh investments up to N980bn.
She explained that improvement in our food growth for self-sufficiency and food security will receive a boost as there will be ready market for their products, noting that the current collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi on rice production is a testimony.
Adebule, however condemned the postulation that the country’s population is too huge for the successful implementation of this program, saying that countries with bigger populations than Nigeria have successfully implemented similar policies.
The Deputy Governor reiterated that the success of policies and programs depends largely on the cooperation, commitment and dedication of the workforce, the human personnel that would translate the concept and dream of policy formulators into reality.
She therefore, enjoined stakeholders in the education sector to painstakingly look at the program holistically to ensure that all issues are addressed to ensure a hitch-free implementation.
Earlier, the National Programme Manager, Home Grown School Feeding, Mrs. Abimbola Adesanmi, coordinator of the programme at the National level, said the overall objective of the programme is to improve Children’s nutrition and education, fight food insecurity and disease and also link local small-scale producers to markets (Schools Agriculture production and development).
She disclosed that the vision of the federal government is to see a sustainable school feeding programme that will establish a safety net for the poor and eradicate malnutrition in school-age children while stimulating the national economy.

Lagos Commissioner For Works, Ganiyu Johnson Resigns

Eng. Ganiyu Johnson
Eng. Ganiyu Johnson, the Lagos state Commissioner for Works and infrastructures has opted out of the Lagos State cabinet.

Ganiyu, who resigned his appointment was reportedly tired of Governor Akinwumi Ambode’s overbearing influences.

It was gathered that Mr. Johnson had resigned few weeks ago but decided to keep his resignation a top secret.

Finding by correspondent in Lagos further revealed that the commissioner had moved all his personal belongings from his office at the ministry

Though, it has been revealed that Gov. Ambode who sacked three out of his commissioners weeks back, has also in the pipeline to sack six more others. The era of ‘goodie goodie’ to Ambode is gone where any personnel can spend or approve money anyhow.

But some of these Commissioners and Advisers believed that they should at least be given a free hand to operate, no matter how little.

While some are staying glued to when they will be sacked due to the economic recession in the country, some others believe that the earlier the better to call it quit the better. And Ganiyu Johnson is one of those people.

The earlier sacked commissioners were; Commissioners for Tourism, Mr. Folorunsho Folarin-Coker, Finance, Dr. Mustapha Akinkunmi, and Transportation, Dr. Ekundayo Mobereola.

Some officials, privy to what actually soured the relationship between the works commissioner and Gov. Ambode, but who do not want their names in print revealed to correspondent that the commissioner's resignation may also not be unconnected with 2019 gubernatorial election.

It was gathered that the Lagos Works commissioner, Ganiyu Johnson is a close ally of the former Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, whom report says still bent on ensuring his crony and anointed aspirant in the 2015 governorship election, Mr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat wrest power from Amode, come 2019.

Nigerian lawmakers propose bill to jail ministers, others who defy them

A bill that could see officials of the executive arm of government thrown into prison if they fail to honour a summon by the legislature has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill also recommended an alternative fine of up to N1 million for any official found guilty of contempt of the National Assembly.

The sponsor of the bill, Sunday Karim, said during plenary on Thursday that lawmakers were frustrated by frequent refusal of members of the executive arm of government, especially ministers and directors-general, to honour invitations of investigative committees in both the Senate and the House.

Mr. Karim said his bill seeks to bolster the provisions of the Legislative Powers and Privileges Act of 2004 which he said he been repeatedly desecrated by government officials.

“This bill is meant to assist our oversight functions,” Mr. Karim said.

Two lawmakers, Mohammed Soba and Iduma Igariwey, who raised a point of order to oppose the bill were ruled out by the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, who presided over legislative activities for the day.

GOC 82 Division Commences Working Visit to Formations, Units Under his Command

Nigerian army

...As He Visits Scene Of Boundary Clash Between Oku Iboku And Ikot Offiong Communities

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division Nigerian Army (NA) Enugu, Major General Adamu Abubakar has on Tuesday 17 January 2017 commenced a working visit to Formations and Units under the Division's Area of Responsibility.

The Goc was in 13 Brigade Calabar on the 17 January 20 17,  where, together with his team of commanders and Staff Officers were briefed on the operational state and readiness of the Brigade.

He inspected some combat equipments, military Kitts and ongoing barrack accommodation for soldiers  in the Brigade. He used the opportunity to interact with officers and soldiers of the Formation and charged them to uphold the Core Values of the Nigerian Army in the discharge of their onerous responsibilities.

Some of the Core Values are - integrity, selflessness, honesty and commitment. Others are honour, duty, patriotism and respect for others.

"The Nig Army under the Present leadership will not tolerate any act of professional misconduct from anyone of you. As workers in a voluntary organisation, we must have to imbibe and fully put into practice the NA Core Values of integrity, honesty, belief and commitment to the course and respect for others" Gen Abubakar stated.

Gen Abubakar used the opportunity (while in 13 Brigade Calabar) to call on the Brigade and other security agencies to continue to device other means of proactively addressing the recurrent security challenge of inter communal violence and/or state boundary disputes in their Area of Operations.

He commended the soldiers for their timely intervention in the recent boundary crisis between Oku Iboku Community of Akwa Ibom State and Ikot Offiong Community of Cross Rivers State.

He used the interactive forum with officers and soldiers to dispel rumour as reported by an online media that two soldiers lost their lives during the crisis. "To the best of my knowledge no soldier of the Brigade was killed or wounded in their peace enforcement efforts before, during or after the crisis". Such report is distractive and should be discountenanced.

From 13 Brigade, the GOC and his team proceeded to 14 Brigade Ohafia and the Nigerian Army Language Institute at Ovim in Bende and Isuikwato Local Govt Areas of Abia State. In all these places, General Abubakar reiterated the commitment of the NA to containing peculiar security challenges across the Division and the nation.

"There are still occasional cases of kidnappings, Farmers - herdsmen clashes and communal crisis in your Area of Responsibility,We must redouble our efforts to effectively checkmate these challenges". He urged troops to remain focus and steadfast in the service of the nation.

"He warned that "Any infraction of human rights, partisanship and complacency under any guise will never be encouraged condoned or tolerated".

Wherever we notice such transgressions we will appropriately apply sanctions" - Gen Abubakar further stated. He commended the troops for their sacrifices to the nation and urged them to do more.

One major highlight of the visit is the holistic appraisal of operational matters and challenges in all the Units and Formations that were visited.

Consequently, where required, solutions, guidance and direction were/was given with the view to smoothens and enhances the operational effectiveness of the affected Units and Formations.

N1.64bn Fraud: Nyame Knows Fate Feb 14

A former governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Gudu on a 41-count charge of criminal misappropriation of N1.64bn state funds will know his fate on February 14, 2017 as to whether he has a case to answer or not.  
The prosecution had on November 22, 2016 closed its case against Nyame after presenting 14 witnesses. The trial, however, witnessed a twist on the same day, as the defence told the court that it intended to file a "no case" submission, as it believed that there was no prima facie case established against Nyame. 
At the resumed sitting today, both the prosecution and the defence adopted their written addresses, and gave oral arguments. 
Charles Edosomwan, SAN, counsel for Nyame, alluded to the fact that "crucial elements are missing in this case", and urged the court to "hold that the testimony of prosecution witnesses have been so damaged and can't be relied on".
He further argued that there was no direct link between Nyame, and a house allegedly procured by him using the diverted state funds, noting that "nobody tendered registered documents linking him to it".
According to him, the trial was "an unnecessary waste of time through which an ordeal was inflicted on Nyame, just because he was a former governor".
Prosecuting counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi, however, countered Edosomwan's submission, noting that "a prima facie case had indeed been established against Nyame after the prosecution called 14 witnesses who testified to how they assisted him to divert state funds".
"In the course of this trial, the defendant did not at any time deny that he received some of the money in question, and in fact, he has even said that he is ready to return the money," Adeniyi said.
He reminded the court that some of the witnesses had confessed in court admitting their several roles during which funds were withdrawn from the state treasury for Nyame's use.
He said: "Those who took part in purchase of stationery have come to court and explained their roles through which the money was instead, transferred to bank account belonging to close confidante of the defendant, and all these were not contended."
Citing Exhibit Z6, Adeniyi reminded the court that another witness testified to how money purportedly earmarked for the purchase of grains, were never utilized for what it was pencilled for, but instead, "the money was brought to the defendant".
He further argued that: "All your lordship will do is to see whether there's ground upon which your lordship can ask the defendant to enter his defence, not that he is guilty or not, or whether evidence is good enough to convict him, but to say he should defend himself."
He concluded that in the instant, the prosecution has led sufficient evidence to warrant calling the defendant to enter into his defence.
"We urge your lordship to overrule this no case submission and to hold that the defendant has a case to answer," he said.
After listening to the arguments, Justice Banjoko, urged both parties to submit the authorities cited in their submissions, adding that "I want to go through all the evidence, and will give my ruling on February 14, 2017."

N1.162bn Fraud: Dariye Accuses Judge of ‘Undisguised Bias', Seeks Case Transfer

In what seems a plan to frustrate his trial, Joshua Dariye, former Plateau State governor, who is facing a 23-count charge at a Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Gudu, has accused the trial judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko of “undisguised bias”.

Dariye is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly diverting about N1.162 billion from the state’s Ecological Fund, to private companies and individuals. His trial resumed on January 25, 2016 after the Supreme Court on February 27, 2015, dismissed his appeal to quash the charges and ordered Dariye's “expeditious” trial.

The prosecution had on June 6, 2016 closed its case against him, after presenting 10 witnesses, including Peter Clark, a retired detective constable with the UK Metropolitan Police, who investigated money laundering charges against him in the UK.

Clark had on May 9, 2016 while being led in evidence by prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN,  told the court that Dariye remained a fugitive having jumped bail in the UK, and that the fraud charges against him were still pending there. Several documents detailing the diversion of the state’s funds to Barclays Bank in the UK were among exhibits presented in court. 

Dariye’s defence team, led by G.S. Pwul, SAN, opened its defence on June 17, 2016 with Adonye Roberts, a former staff of the defunct All States Trust Bank, admitting under cross-examination, that Dariye illegally operated an account with the bank in the name of “Ebenezer Retnan Ventures” – a company to which part of the Ecological Funds were diverted to.

The trial could not go on, on December 9, 2016 as a result of the absence of a defence witness, prompting the judge to adjourn to December 13, 2016. Pwul, though was not in court, was represented by Fidelis Kaatpo. Kaatpo had told the court that: “The court bailiff was unable to serve our witnesses the summons, because they were not reachable.”
At the sitting on December 13, 2016 Justice Banjoko also had to adjourn to January 18, 2017 at the request of Pwul, who told the court that he intended to present two more witnesses, which he was yet to get in touch with. He had also forwarded two motions to the court meant for hearing.

Jacobs had visibly expressed his discontent at the decision to adjourn, accusing Pwul of deliberately acting to delay the trial. The trial judge, who had to step in to calm frayed nerves, however, cautioned the prosecution, noting that the defence deserves to be given ample time to make its case, and “a speedy trial is not having a speedy acquittal or conviction, but is based on the merit of what you put before the court.”

However, at the resumed sitting today, Justice Banjoko, could not hear the motions, because “they are not ripe for hearing”. She also revealed that “a letter waiting for directive of the Chief Judge” had been received by the court, thus halting the day’s proceeding.

The said letter, which was at the instant of Dariye, was titled, Application for Transfer on Ground of Manifest and Undisguised Bias. Dated December 13, 2016 it was addressed to the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Abuja, with the Seal of the Nigeria Senate, where he serves as Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Procurement.

Dariye alleged that the trial judge “has not found it easy to conceal her anger that I dared to pursue an appeal against her ruling up to the Supreme Court”, adding that “my counsel and I could only watch helplessly as events unfolded in court, and this made me feel so helpless like a lamp waiting to be slaughtered.”

Making reference to the proceeding where Clark testified against Dariye, which dealt a huge chink in his armour, the defendant accused the judge of allowing the prosecution time to bring "a witness from the United Kingdom". 

While Pwul was copied in the letter sent to the FCT Chief Judge, the prosecution, represented by Adeniyi Adebisi was not copied, causing him to express concerns that “if the defendant thought it fit to copy the court and his counsel, he ought to copy us”.

Pwul, however, noted that the letter was from the defendant himself and meant as an “administrative machinery as a way of asking”, and that the motions filed before the court constituted a judicial process that needed to be attended to.

Justice Banjoko, thereafter, adjourned tentatively to February 15, 2017 “for hearing of the applications”, once again citing the import of  Dariye's letter.

EFCC Seeks Immigration's Assistance in Tracking Fraudsters

The South South Zonal Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Ishaq Salilu, on Wednesday January 18, 2017 called for an enhanced collaboration between the EFCC and the Nigeria Immigration Services, NIS, in checking the menace of criminals and fraudsters in the country. 

Salihu made this remark when he received the Comptroller of Immigration, Rivers State , A. B. Yarima who paid him a courtesy visit in his office. ”We pray for a deepened collaboration. We are very ready to partner with you” he said. According to Salihu, the Nigeria Immigration Service is such a critical organization in the country that an enhanced collaboration will enable the Commission track fraudsters who despite having their international passports seized by the Commission are still able to sneak out of the country through other means. “How they disappear remains a mystery to us,” he said.

Earlier A.B Yarima, said he had visited other sister agencies and felt it was imperative that he visits the EFCC. He said there was need for a synergy between the Commission and the NIS to rid the society of crimes. “We are ready and willing to continue the existing relationship between NIS and the EFCC,” he said.
The Rivers State Comptroller was accompanied by other top officers of NIS including GB Dilosi, S.E. Legglack, both Deputy Comptroller, K. A. Saqiq, Assistant Comptroller, and a hosts of others.

Death of IDPs and aid workers in Rann, a monumental loss – Gen TY Danjuma

The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI), General TY Danjuma RTD has described as tragic, the death of civilians that occurred due to the accidental bombing by the Nigerian Air Force in Rann, Kala Balge, Borno State. He said the monumental loss at the camp in Rann, was not only tragic but highly regrettable.

In a statement released by the PCNI 's Head of Media and Communications, Alkasim Abdulkadir he expressed his heartfelt condolences to the people and government of Borno State "Our thoughts and prayers are with IDP families, the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC, Medicines Sans Frontiers MSF, Nigerian Red Cross NRC and other volunteers affected by the ill-fated incident".

Danjuma further stated that the protection and stabilization of vulnerable people fleeing the Boko Haram conflict and also safe guarding the lives of aid workers bringing medical and relief items to IDP families remains the utmost concern of government and a thorough investigation will be carried out to avoid similar mishaps in the future.

Gov Sani Expresses Condolence over Twin-Blast, Airstrike in Borno

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has commiserated with University of Maiduguri, Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs and Borno state government over  recent twin-bomb attack in the university as well as the  accidental air strike by the Nigerian Airforce,,NAF describing the incidences as tragic.
The Governor expresses his sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the University community, the families as well as people and government of Borno State over the incidents adding that the attack by a suspected Boko Haram suicide bomber was really unjustified.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Jibrin Baba Ndace, the Governor noted that the institution had been relatively peaceful despite the countless attacks launched on its environs and called on the university authorities to step-up security on the campus to guide against future occurrence.
“Despite insurgency, the University of Maiduguri has been relatively peaceful. Indeed, in 2016, the UNIMAID had its 40th anniversary and combined convocation which attracted people from all over the world.”
Governor Sani Bello, who believes that the fight against the insurgents was a collective responsibility of everyone, said government and the citizens must not allow evil to triumph over peace and harmony of the society.
“There is the need for the people to be extra-vigilant and to also assist the security agencies with intelligence reports about, and expose suspicious characters amongst us so that they can be proactively flushed out of our midst before carrying out their nefarious activities”.

The Governor further advised that the airstrike should not be seen to undermine the gains recorded by the Armed forces and other security agencies in the fight against the insurgents.

Governor Sani Bello commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives in the blast as well as those of the IDP camp and  prayed for the reposed souls of the deceased and wished the injured quick recovery.
Reports say four persons, including a Professor of Veterinary Medicine (Aliyu Mani), were killed in the suicide attack that rocked the university at two different locations while 17 people recorded various degrees of injuries.

NEMA, Stakeholders Condoles Victims of Rann

...Working towards receiving 1300 IDPs from Abuja

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and stakeholders in humanitarian activities in North-East have condoled victims of accidental airstrike that occurred in Rann, Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno state.

The stakeholders who meet monthly to review developmental activities in internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) Camps and host communities also observed a minute of silence in memory of Humanitarian workers from the Nigerian Red Cross and others who died in the bombing incident.

The meeting also discused measures being put in place to receive and host 1300 IDPs expected to from Abuja.

The stakeholders meeting organised by NEMA is a forum for all partners engaged in humanitarian activities in Borno state. It offers a platform for all actors to meet with Federal and state Government Agencies involved in humanitarian activities to facilitate collaboration and cooperation in operations. 

The meeting also receives monthly updates on activities  from the various multi stakeholder sector working groups which include Security, water/sanitation/Hygiene (WASH),Protection,Food security, Shelter /NFI, Health and Education working groups.

Heritage Bank repositions for improved efficiency

Heritage Bank Plc has announced the restructuring of its workforce, as part of efforts geared towards greater efficiency and resource optimization, in line with its growth and industry innovative agenda designed to strengthen the bank’s business across all markets where it operates.
According to a statement from the bank, the restructuring processes was to up scale the institution’s activities in the strategic sectors of the economy as well as concentrating on and deploying its expertise and competences to specific business areas where it enjoys comparative business advantage.
It hinted that the recent restructuring came after a review of senior staff bench strength and industry standards and realigned certain roles bank wide and those who were affected by the exercise were adequately compensated.
The bank also disclosed the elevation of some members of its workforce with higher responsibilities, which is in line with its on-going determination to reposition.
There is no doubt that the banking industry like every other sector in the country is going through rough times occasioned by the downward trend in the economy, hencethe move was part of the bank’s strategic plan to keep a vibrant workforce that will enable the bank achieve its vision of being the Nigerian most innovative banking of choice in service delivery, superior returns to its various stakeholders and as well contribute to the growth of the nation’s economy.
This position is buttressed by the fact that the bank is well known for supporting small businesses, which is another way of bringing as many small businesses as possible together in a bid to add value to MSME sector of the economy.
Heritage Bank has deliberately focused on the SME segment in a bid to create a fresh set of vibrant entrepreneurs that will create jobs and distribute wealth in the Nigerian economy because of recent statistics which indicate high unemployment among the youths that make up a large percentage of the population.
One of its initiatives in the MSME sector is its partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) under the N3billion CBN Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP) which is targeted at youth, particularly current serving National Youth Corps members and those within five years post-service exit.
The bank launched a N500 million Young Entrepreneurs and Students (YES) Grant in Lagos. The initiative, which is in partnership with the Nigerian Youth Professional Forum (NYPF), will, according to the bank, support students and young entrepreneurs toward socio-economic freedom.
Also, in furtherance of its commitment to creating jobs and wealth, Heritage Bank in partnership with the Center for Value Leadership (CVL)developed various impact-driven programmes to empower the youths and women particularly in the under-developed communities in Lagos State and one of these is the Young Entrepreneurship Business Training Programme (YEBTP).
The YEBTP is a programme aimed at grooming, mentoring, and financing 100 aspiring and existing young micro entrepreneurs in Ajegunle, Lagos State. This will be achieved in the form of a grant scheme of about N8.5million, in which the funds will be used to purchase the equipment needed by the entrepreneurs to start their businesses.

Ojukokoro Teaser: Watch Hafiz Ayetoro (Saka ), Wale Ojo, Ali Nuhu, Tope Tedela, Somkele Idalama, Linda Ejiofor Star In New Ojukokoro (TRAILER)

Award-winning actors including, Wale Ojo, Ali Nuhu, Tope Tedela, Somkele Idalama, Linda Ejiofor, Zainab Balogun and Hafiz Oyetoro (Saka) star in a new gripping comedy crime-thriller entitled Ojukokoro (Greed).

Written & directed by Dare Olaitan and produced by Olufemi Ogunsawo, the suspense filled movie starring a star-studded is set to raise the game and bring fresh excitement to movie lovers across Nigeria.

Ojukokoro (Greed) is another Nollywood Cinema film that has come to life with multiple  Nigerian Production companies involved, it  was created by Singularity Media in collaboration with House Gabriel Studios and BCI Studios.

It also features talented cast such as Charles Etubiebi, Seun Ajayi, Emmanuel Ikubese, Kayode Olaiya, Gbolahan Olatunde. Kunle Remi, Sammi Eddi, Lord Frank and Shawn Faqua.

After its successful screening at the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in November, the movie has been tipped by viewers to become a box office hit in cinemas this year.

Ojukokoro which is a Yoruba word is translated as greed in English language. The movie unwraps an intriguing tale about a money-strapped manager of a shady Petrol Station who decides to rob his employers but along the line finds out in a sudden twist that he is not alone in his ambition and that a good reason isn’t always a right one.

According to the talented young producer, the movie will be premiered at different locations very soon before it proceeds on a long cinema run across over 30 theatres in Nigeria.

The writer & Director, Olaitan trained in Film Directing/Screen Writing Degree at the Colorado Film School and aspires to make a big impression with this first effort.

Speaking on the movie, the director said, “Ojukokoro was inspired by the state of events in Nigeria during 2014 elections with the general state of greed in the nation due to the upcoming elections. It is an ensemble cast movie that deals primarily with a heist which is an avenue that is rarely explored in Nollywood Cinema.

“From the conception to execution, the movie that took me three years to produce. I wrote the script when I was fresh from film school with little knowledge of how the Nigerian Film industry operates. It’s nice to finally have an end product after many years of dreaming and scheming,” he added. 

View trailer here.