Friday, November 29, 2013

Chain-Smoking Toddler Gives Up Cigarettes

A toddler who shocked the world with his chain smoking has kicked the habit - but he’s piled on the weight ever since. Aldi Rizal, now aged five, was first discovered three years ago in a poor village in Sumatra, Indonesia, puffing on a cigarette while riding his tricycle.
He soon became a media sensation and the public outcry led to the Indonesia Government launching a campaign to stop children smoking. It also organised special rehabilitation treatment to help Aldi quit.

He was taken for play therapy sessions in Jakarta for two weeks to take his mind off his 40-a-day habit and learn to be a normal toddler.
A new documentary series revisits the family two years on to find out how Aldi is getting on, and reveals he has managed to stay off the cigarettes.

During his rehabilitation treatment, Aldi saw psychiatrists who encouraged his mum to keep him busy with playing and taught her about the dangers of smoking.
One of them , Dr Kak Seto still sees Aldi and his family at regular intervals to ensure he is not falling back into old habits.
His mother Diane helped him kick the habit. His mum, Diane, 28, said: “There are many people still offering Aldi cigarettes, but Aldi says no. He says ‘I love Kak Seto. He would be sad if I started smoking again and made myself ill’.

“At first we were weaning Aldi off the cigarettes he would have terrible tantrums and I would call Dr Seto for help. But now he doesn’t want them.”

However Diane’s now worried about her son’s weight as he developed food cravings while quitting smoking. Diane said the strong-willed little boy now demands food in the same way he used to beg for cigarettes and the family struggles not to give in to his tantrums.

Diane said: “When Aldi first quit smoking, he would demand a lot of toys. He would bang his head on the wall if he couldn’t get what he wanted. That’s why I get him cigarettes in the first place – because of his temper and his crying. Now I don’t give him cigarettes, but he eats a lot. With so many people living in the house it’s hard to stop him from getting food.” Now Aldi has been advised to go on a healthier diet to lose weight. He now also helps his mum Diane and dad Mohamed out on their market stall where his bright bubbly character and cheekiness win him lots of attention.

Diane admitted; “I feel happy when people want to speak to him because they know him. But I feel annoyed when they refer to him as ‘the smoking kid’. It makes me feel like they are accusing me of being a bad parent.” Dianne and Mohammed decided to take Aldi to a nutritionist for medical checks and now they’ve been given advice on how to put him on a healthier diet so he can start to lose some weight. Nutritionist Fransisca Dewi said: “Aldi is very overweight, his weight doesn’t match his age. His ideal weight is 17kg to 19kg. He’s 24kg already. I think it is difficult for them. The mother says Aldi is a spoilt kid. If Diane wants to forbid him eating, it will be hard”

•SOURCE: DailyMirror, UK

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mystery Stream Re-appears in Enugu After 42 Years

A mysterious stream suspected to have healing powers has appeared in Nachi community, Udi local government area of Enugu State, almost 42 years after it disappeared from the same place.

It was gathered that the stream which is now a pilgrimage centre surfaced and disappeared in 1972 and surprisingly re-appeared about two weeks ago.

The stream is located near the boundary between Oji River and Udi local government areas of the state.

A source disclosed that since the stream re-appeared about two weeks ago, thousands of people from different parts of the country have continued to visit it in search of healing.

According to sources, the stream was first noticed by a Fulani herdsman who had gone to the area to feed his cattle.

The herdsman, a source said, suddenly saw water gushing out from a sandy farm land close to where he was standing, adding that before the cattle rearer could turn his back, the entire area had been covered by water.

Apparently surprised over the development, the herdsman reportedly alerted some people and farmers in the community over the development.

It was gathered those who first rushed to the stream quickly took the surprise news to the traditional ruler of the community, His Royal Highness Igwe Onuigbo, Obi (11) of Nachi.

Meanwhile LEADERSHIP gathered that the wonder stream has provided business opportunities for members of its host community and environs.

The stream has especially opened up serious window of businesses for plastic water containers, food vendors and commercial motorcycle and vehicle operators, who are now counting their gains.

An octogenarian and community leader in Nachi, who spoke to reporters, Mr Festus Udeh, said the stream surfaces and disappears every 20 to 30 years.

Udeh explained that in the olden days, women on their menstrual cycle were not allowed to enter the stream.

culled from

Asari Dokubo released

Niger-Delta activist, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, has been released by security officials in Benin Republic. Mr. Dokubo-Asari was arrested in the neighbouring countryon Tuesday, his lawyer Festus Keyamo, said.

Mr. Keyamo confirmed the release to PREMIUM TIMES in a brief text message on Thursday morning, although he did not state the exact time and details of the release.

The lawyer had on Wednesday evening asked President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene and ensure the armed activist is released from Benin. It is not clear if the presidency played any role in the eventual release of one of his most vocal supporters.

Mr. Dokubo-Asari had threatened to make Nigeria ungovernable should Mr. Jonathan not be re-elected in 2015.
culled from Premium Times

FG Declares War on ASUU, Orders VCs to Advertise for New Staff

The federal government has given the striking members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) one week ultimatum to resume work or face sack.

Supervising minister of education, Nyesom Wike, who addressed the press today in the federal ministry of education, Abuja, directed all Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities to open the universities for academic activities and provide enabling environment for staff that resume for work.

He said all university lecturers that failed to resume by 4th of December will lose their job.
He also directed that the VCs should place adverts for both internal and external vacancies in their universities.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Oyinlola denies moving to APC

The embattled National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has said he did not move to the All Progressives Congress, APC, with others members and governors of the New PDP.

Speaking in a telephone interview on the Raypower FM radio programme, Political Platform, on Wednesday, Mr. Oyinlola said he remained the National Secretary of the ruling party as pronounced by the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division on November 6.

Although he confirmed that he was at the meeting where the decision to team up with APC was taken, Mr. Oyinlola, who is also the National Secretary of the splinter PDP, said he would remain in the ruling party until a superior court upturned the November 6 judgement of the Appellate Court which reinstated him as the national secretary.

“My position is not in doubt. I have been the National Secretary of the PDP based on the judgement delivered on November 6 and until a superior court reverses it, I remain the National Secretary of the PDP. ” he said.

On the meeting with APC leaders, Mr. Oyinlola, who is a former governor of Osun State in the South West zone, explained that the nPDP had been having consultations with the opposition party before now, but that at the Tuesday meeting, some members of the splinter group decided to move on.

According to him, he was not part of those that decided to move to the APC.

He said, “We had consultations and we have been having meetings. Yesterday (Tuesday), some people decided to move on. I as the National Secretary have no alternative than to remain because the Court of Appeal said I was validly elected. Until a superior court reverses that I remain the National Secretary of the PDP.

“What I am telling Nigerians about this is that I was validly elected as National Secretary in March last year.”

Asked if holding meetings with the opposition would not amount to an anti-party activity, Mr. Oyinlola said “having conversations with political like-minds had nothing to do with his position,” insisting that it was not a sin for him coming out to clarify his position as others who attended the Tuesday meeting had done.

culled from Premium Times

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Atiku at 67: All His Sides, from Every Angle

On Monday November 25, 2013, Atiku Abubakar turns 67 years old; his presidential ambition 21 years; while his years of politicking 33. Atiku so far has spent nearly half of his age doing politics. And he means different things to his critics and supporters.

Atiku’s critics often argue that the core reason he ventured into politics was not different from that of a typical Nigerian politician- the quest for power and self enrichment. But his supporters say, mere politics is not what only defines Atiku, but the way he does it. Atiku is politically adventurous and his strategies in politics are always audacious- they surpass those of ordinary Nigerian politicians. In 1992 he doggedly supported the late MKO Abiola, despite MKO’s breach of the gentleman agreement to pick Atiku as his running mate. In 2003, despite having all odds in his favour, he refused to succumb to pressure to dump former President Obasanjo. 

Over the years, Atiku has been the most visible politician, especially in the politics of Nigeria’s presidency. His opponents are always quick to describe him as opportunistic and a desperate serial presidential contestant. His supporters see his unrelenting participation in party politics as a clear sign of Atiku’s passion to serve his fatherland. Atiku’s supporters always boast that Atiku is one of the few top-notch politicians in Nigeria that never partook in any military government, thus making him a true democrat.

Atiku has fought many tough political battles; the most daring being the one against his former boss- Obasanjo. Atiku was labelled a disloyal vice president. Despite provocations from many directions, Atiku remained calm, unmoved and composed. His supporters say, his ‘no-shaking’ approach to the whole saga is a sign of him being a real democrat. However, critics disprove this saying, being a democrat goes beyond such traits. Nevertheless, the general belief is, the ultimate measure of a democrat is not how he stands at the moment of comfort and convenience, but how he stands at times of challenges and controversies. Atiku always stands firm.

Atiku’s numerous political decisions were excellent and sound, but not without flaws, especially regarding his relationship with the PDP. For instance, despite several overtures, Atiku refused to fully integrate himself into the PDP family after the 2007 elections. Atiku should have supported the late Yar’Adua’s government. Again, after losing the 2011 PDP presidential primaries, it took Atiku very longtime to congratulate Jonathan and he never showed his face even once in the PDP nationwide presidential campaign tour. Such political errors of judgement still hunt his political influence especially in the government at the centre. On the other hand, had he given-in cheaply to either late Yar’Adua or Jonathan, his ‘political charisma’ could have diminished seriously. So, for his ‘tenacious’ style, any political calculation especially by those aspiring to contest the 2015 presidential election, Atiku must be the first to be factored-in in the equations. 

Atiku presently is the most prepared candidate for the 2015 presidential election. Atiku Abubakar has a well-drafted policy document loaded with fine, programs and projects, christened ‘The Atiku Abubakar Formula’. Atiku promised, if elected, his medium-term strategy would be to ensure that recurrent expenditure is financed fully with non-oil revenues, while all oil proceeds will be invested in infrastructure, security, education and health. Though, Atiku is the most grounded candidate for the 2015 presidential elections, there are many odds against him, compared to those in his favour, taking into consideration the present realities in the polity.

Atiku’s unique style of politics may have favoured him; but he has lost his rightful place in the ruling PDP. Therefore, Atiku’s greatest obstacle to his presidential ambition will still be on how to get a strong party platform to contest on. But Atiku has immense war chest that easily scares off his opponents- vast political network and connections.

2015 elections would surely be another defining moment for Atiku; he is a strong candidate who is already ahead of many would-be contestants in terms of political structure, thorough understanding of national political terrain as well as the capacity to single-handedly take on President Goodluck Jonathan. Many people believe, it is part of Atiku’s calculations to realize his presidential ambition that he registered the PDM as a political party and engineered the biggest revolt shaking the PDP. 

Atiku is a man of destiny; his first taste of politics was when he took part in the radical students union politics of the 1960s, serving as president emeritus of the students’ union of the School of Hygiene, Kano, and later as the assistant secretary general of the Ahmadu Bello University Students Union, as well as deputy speaker of the Students’ Parliament. By 2015 Atiku would be 69 years old, and would surely put in a strong fight for presidency. After all, politics has become Atiku’s number one hobby. Happy birthday Turaki Adamawa.

Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State,, 08036070980.

Friday, November 22, 2013

How crude oil is stolen, refined, sold in Niger Delta

Communities or criminals, a new report, goes deep to unearth the working of oil theft and illegal oil refining in Nigeria’s oil rich Niger Delta.

The business of oil theft and illegal oil refining in the Niger Delta region has become so brazen and networked, involving communities, government officials, oil workers, and security agencies that it is difficult to properly classify the sabotage as a crime, a new report by Stakeholder Democracy Network indicates.

The oil is being stolen at an industrial scale. Moderate estimates suggest 150,000 barrels of crude oil are stolen every day in Nigeria. The vast majority of this is sold internationally.

But at least one in every four barrels of crude oil stolen everyday ends up in the Niger Delta region where it is refined at illegal refineries by locals who claim proceeds supplant non-existent government welfare package and help support their families; in the process destroying the environment and threatening legal oil refining.

The report claims the illegal refining industry is worth several billions annually, and Nigeria’s politicians and security officials are among those profiting. Oil and gas experts, and Niger Delta activists believe oil theft and local refining is growing rapidly, with suspicions that as the 2015 general elections gets closer, it will boom.

The SDN report is the first study that explains how illegal oil refining in the Niger Delta operates and what is driving its rapid growth. It also analyzed the political, economic and societal drivers, networks and impacts and nature of local oil refining.

Illegally refined diesel is transported to market

How it works – Instal a tap

The illegal petrol refining industry in the Niger Delta is organized like the legitimate, applying the same basic technology – distillation.

The illegal refineries do not drill, but tap from the established oil companies at the point of transporting the crude from one point to another. According to the report, the installation of pipes is done with great dexterity and mostly at night.

Skilled welders, many who were previously contractors for the oil companies and are now formally unemployed, typically carry out this installation.

“The most skilled operators can install taps both on dry land and underwater. They often work in small teams of 3 to 6 people and can set up a tapping point in just a few days,” the report said.

Installing is a dangerous step. The pipes could explode while high in pressure. During the tapping process, the pressure on pipes must be reduced before a tap can be installed, and oil companies’ control room staff provide this service, the report stated.

The installation of taps is the beginning of the illegal refinery production chain, and operated by an organized “union” criminal gang that boasts of support from community members and staff of tapped oil companies; and security officials posted to the area to stop the crime.

“We have unions here, you don’t just come into the community and start refining,” one of those interviewed told SDN.

Oil theft “unions” serve to organize the placement of an illegal tap for an average fee of N1 million. Control room operators, for a fee of N900 thousand, would inform the union members when pressures are being reduced for routine maintenance, to allow tap installations.

The union also provides an informal control on illegal pipeline activity across the region, like the petroleum ministry would do in the formal oil and gas industry.

The union also provides new entrants with personal connections to rogue actors within the JTF whose protection is needed to ensure a steady supply of crude.

The report says Nigeria’s security forces are neck deep in stealing oil in the Niger Delta. When installed, each tap point is owned by a consortium of three key parties – security, technical capacity and operational access.

Running the tap

Once the tap is installed, a small team of around five workers guards and operates the tap, using the oil pressure and a rubber hose to siphon crude oil from the tap into a boat – called Cotonou Boat – built to receive oil.

Tap operators well are guarded and dangerous for outsiders. “They are well protected either by armed local boys or the JTF,” the report said. An average tap point spends N200 thousand on security monthly.

Operating a tap point is the most lucrative segment of the illegal oil theft business. They earn as much as N165 million per month supplying both local refiners and international oil thieves.


Distributors, riding in Cotonou Boats, transport the stolen crude, once filled, from the point of tapping, through the creeks where they supply a small quantity to illegal refineries -camps – scattered around the creeks of the Niger delta.

A bulk of the stolen crude, up to 75 percent is transported to oil tankers waiting off the coast for national, regional and possibly, international markets.

“When shipping stolen crude, distributors tend to avoid middlemen. This keeps costs low and margins high,” the report said.

The local transport vessels can be owned by the tap owner, a local refiner or by other individuals engaged in export oil theft.

Within the first half of this year, the JTF said 861 giant Cotonou boats have been “scuttled.”


When the stolen ‘black’ arrives by boat from the tapping point, camp workers transfer the cold crude oil to a storage tank using a rubber hose and pump. The most common storage tanks are large locally made “GEEPEE” tanks. In some camps open-air pits are also used for storing stolen crude.

Some camps are set-up like a well run small company employing a wide variety of workers, including women. Average camps employ between 12 to 20 workers.

“I have an escort boat (deck man) paid N20,000 per trip, my camp manager is paid N100,000 a month, camp security is N2000 per person and I have three people on security,” one camp owner told SDN.

The basic refining technique, first used during the Biafran Civil War, is what the camps apply. These techniques were most recently used by members of militant camps between 2005 and 2009, providing fuel and cash to support the Niger Delta insurgency.

In Bayelsa, gangs can set up camps with N250,000. In Delta state, a camp may cost from N750,000 – N1 million. In Rivers state, the camps are more established and may cost up N3 million to set up.

The report suggests former militants brought back refining skills from militant camps.

“Now illegal refineries are a core part of the local economy of many Niger Delta communities, and refined products from them find their way at least as far as Lagos and into other licit distribution networks,” SDN said in the report.
The report described camp owners as the least profiting, earning up to N1.2 million per month.


A security boat allegedly collecting bribes at a hub where illegally refined diesel is distributed.

If you buy diesel in the Niger Delta region, or in Lagos, there is a possibility that you bought an illegally refined type. The bulk of petroleum product produced at illegal refineries in the Niger Delta is diesel – 41 per cent – and waste, 55 percent. Petrol, kerosene, and bitumen are produced in very little quantity.

Distributors get into the towns to sell their products at N100 a litre to traders and filling station owners, or go to the high sea and sell to other middlemen with big vessels at N15,000 – N18,000 per drum (200 litres).
A large distributor makes up to N13.1 million monthly, the report said.

After the tapping point, distribution is the second most profitable area of the oil theft business.
Many refiners also give their host communities’ small quantities of kerosene for lighting and cooking at no charge.
“We give out kerosene and fuel to our people here at home and fuel our community generator with our diesel. We don’t sell at home, we dash,” one of the refiners told SDN.

culled from

Nigeria’s Highest Paid CEOs

Being a successful and influential chief executive officer takes hard work, guts, sacrifice and a more-than-average knowledge of how the business environment works. Many who wish to be successful and influential wonder how others have achieved great things, thinking such feats are impossible in their bid to toe same path.

Nigeria boasts a slew of successful CEOs in almost every sector – banking, oil and gas, sports, health and manufacturing. LEADERSHIP Friday unveils some of Nigeria’s highest paid CEOs and the stories behind their rise to the top, based on authoritative reports, between 2009 and 2012.

CEO, Stanbic IBTC, Sola David-Borha 

As the managing director/CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, David-Borha is one of the country’s highly-rated bankers. She is the highest paid director in Nigeria’s banking sector, with an annual remuneration of N177m. When broken down, this becomes N484, 931 daily, including weekends when may have no reason to go to work.

David-Borha has patiently risen through the ranks to get to where she is today. She was, at different times, responsible for overseeing the corporate finance and corporate banking, projects and structure finance, as well as asset management and private banking departments. At a time, she bore the burden of supervising treasury and finance services department.

David-Borha also headed the correspondent banking relationships’ department at Stanbic IBTC and served as a member of the executive committee. She was appointed to the bank’s board in 1994 and has held other positions, including a spell as director of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Stanbic Nominees Nigeria Limited and Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers Limited. She was also appointed a member of the board of Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC). She did not miss serving as a member of the bank’s board credit, board nominations and risk management committees.

Having passed through these stages before rising to the pinnacle, David- Borha can be said to have, indeed, paid her dues and can be said to have exhibited a great degree of competence, experience, long career plan and hard work to get to her present position.

CEO, Mobil Oil Nigeria Limited, Tunji Oyebanji

Mobil Oil Nigeria (MON) is one of Nigeria’s major petroleum products marketing companies. As its chief executive officer, Oyebanji is on an annual remuneration of N85m. When broken down, this amounts to a daily pay of about N231, 956.

As chairman/CEO/managing director of MON, there is no doubt that Oyebanji’s hard-work, commitment and dedication has been largely responsible for the turn-around which the company’s fortune has experienced, making it stand tall among other competing oil corporates.

The company now operates more than 200 retail outlets spread across the 36 states of Nigeria and the Fedeeral Capital Territory; it owns three plants (in Apapa, Lagos State) where lubricants, petroleum jelly and insecticides are manufactured.

As at 2011, MON had an annual turn-over of N63.1bn, from N58.34bn in 2010. With a combined dividend per share of N5 and bonus issue of one for five shares, MON has, arguably, the industry’s highest priced stock.

CEO, GTBank, Olusegun Agbaje

The managing director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Olusegun J.K. Agbaje, is rated as one of the country’s highest paid CEOs. His GTB prides itself as “the biggest and most profitable bank in Nigeria” and one of the biggest companies on the shores of West Africa. Agbaje co-founded the GTB in 1990 with Tayo Aderinokun who died in 2011.His annual take-home is a whopping N77m.

Before assuming the current position, Agbaje was the deputy managing director of the bank between August 2002 and April 20, 2011. He has also served as the divisional head of the bank’s institutional banking division and also as acting MD of GTB (Ghana) Limited, from April 20, 2011.

Interestingly, Agbaje has served in a number of capacities before becoming the man at the helm of the bank’s affairs. He was, at different points in his career; member, Assets and Liability Management Committee; member, Criticised Assets Committee; member, Board, Information Technology Strategy Committee and member, Board, Risk Management Committee.

On his way to the top, Agbaje also served as member, board, Human Resources and Nomination Committee; member, Management Risk Committee and member, Management Credit Committee. Experience garnered from serving in these committees helped, in no small measure, in preparing him for the current position of CEO.

CEO, Oando Plc, Jubril Adewale Tinubu

According to recent financial reports, the second highest paid CEO in the oil sector is Wale Tinubu, with a total annual remuneration of N69m, an equivalent of N189, 041 per day.

Tinubu is the group chief executive of the company which has been hailed as Africa’s leading indigenous energy solutions provider listed on the stock exchange in Nigeria and Johannesburg. Tinubu also has a record of long-time service, having served on the board of various blue-chip companies as chairman and director.

His outstanding performance has won him several awards, among which are; Africa’s Business Leader of the Year awarded by the African Business Magazine and the Commonwealth Council on the basis of his contributions to the development of the African oil and gas sector in 2010. He won the same accolade in 2011, courtesy of the African Investor.

These accolades are proof that Tinubu’s ascension to the pinnacle of the administrative ladder in Oando was no fluke but a function of his doggedness and hard-work. Tinubu also holds key positions in a number of major financial institutions.

CEO, Forte Oil Plc, Akin Akinfemiwa

Forte Oil Plc. (formally African Petroleum Plc.) is a foremost indigenous major marketer of refined petroleum products with strong presence in the 36 states of the federation and Abuja. According to recent reports, as its group chief executive officer, Akinfemiwa’s annual salary is N64m (N175, 342 per day).

Prior to this appointment, Akinfemiwa had a successful career in the banking sector. He served as the CEO of Sky Bank Plc, until July 31, 2010. His expertise covers a range of areas, including; strategic planning and management, corporate banking, project financing, leadership and advisory services. He has also served as managing director/CEO of Prudent Bank.

Akinfemiwa has now brought his hard-work to bear on the fortunes of Forte Oil Plc. The public liability company which is quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has over 500 dealer-assisted and dealer-developed retail outlets spread across the country.

CEO, UBA, Phillips Oduoza

Phillips Oduoza is the chief executive officer, group managing director, and an executive director of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc. He is one of the highest paid CEOs in the banking sector, with an annual remuneration of N57m (as at 2010). It suffices to say that Oduoza is one of the few who can beat their chest in fulfilment of a banking career.

He became the CEO and managing director of the bank in August 2010 and has served as its deputy managing director (South) from the 2005. Besides having the honour of having gained monumental experience from working across different banks for more than 20 years, he has served also as the bank’s executive director of Retail Financial Services. UBA’s fortune, no doubt, has snow-balled, with results from his professional services and investment of talents as proof.

His services in the bank cut across membership of the board risk committee and financial and general purpose committee. Before assuming the position of CEO, he served as deputy managing director of the bank. Among many other designations, he was an executive director of the defunct Standard Trust Bank (STB) which was acquired by the UBA in the thick of the consolidation exercise introduced by the then-governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo. 

CEO, Ecobank Nigeria, Jubril Aku

According to a Banks’ Financial Transparency report, as at 2009, the bank ranked second on the list of highest paid bank CEOs in Nigeria, with N88m per annum as salary for its CEO. But the bank reportedly slashed the CEO’s emolument to N38m per annum, perhaps, as a measure against financial stress.

Jubril Aku is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Ecobank Nigeria Plc. He has been its managing director since March 2010. Aku served as acting treasurer, Citibank, Tanzania and as country treasurer, Citibank Nigeria Plc.

He began his banking career in 1979 with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc., where he worked for three years from September, 1986 to December, 1989. He served at the Continental Merchant Bank Plc., where he worked as a credit and investment analyst.

Aku has served in various capacities with different financial institutions and is, by all standards, an accomplished banker.

Au’s academic brilliance has earned him several accolades, among which are the First Bank of Nigeria Plc Prize for the Best Graduating Student in Banking and Finance at the Ahmadu Bello University, from where he graduated with honours in 1986.

CEO, Zenith Bank, Godwin Emefiele

The CEO and group managing director of Zenith Bank Plc, Godwin Emefiele, is also one of the highest paid CEOs of Nigerian companies. Emefiele succeeded the pioneer CEO of the bank, Jim Ovia, in August 2010. By his current position in the bank’s hierarchy and the number of branches it can bboast of within the country and in West Africa, it is evident that Emefiele is fulfilled.

Prior to his choice of banking as a career in Zenith Bank, Emefiele was a lecturer in University of Nigeria and University of Port Harcourt where he taught Finance, Bank Management and Insurance. However, he later left the academia for banking. He joined Zenith as a pioneer staff over 22 years ago and has proved his worth in advancing the bank as well as increasing its fortunes and profitability. In 2001, he was appointed deputy managing director before succeeding Ovia three years ago. 

He has also served as member of Executive Committee, member of Board Credit Committee, member of Staff Matters, Finance and General Purpose Committee and member of Board Risk Management Committee. Emefiele’s services and impact were also felt in Management Global Credit Committee, Risk Management committee, Assets and Liabilities Committee and Information Technology Steering Committee where he served as member.

The advancements made by the bank are not without the inputs of Emefiele who served as executive director in charge of corporate banking. He as well served in the treasury, financial control and strategic planning department. He has been in the management team of Zenith Bank from its inception

Leadership Newspapers


Professor Ben Nwabueze’srequest to President Jonathan to be allowed to produce a draft constitution for consideration by the proposed National Conference has come under criticism, with the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) describing the proposal as troubling.

Nwabueze had recently asked Jonathan to convert a small committee that is already meeting in his house into a Presidential Committee to draft a constitution.
Senior lawyer Femi Falana, in his reaction to this, said: “Nobody can write a Constitution; it has to be done by the people.”

Nwabueze had also asked Jonathan to insert a clause into the proposed National Conference’s enabling law forhis draft constitution to be laid before it and to “form the basis of its deliberations and decisions and to be piloted through the conference by the members of (Nwabueze’s) committee.”

But the ACF yesterday issued a statement, saying there was no basis for Jonathan to allow Nwabueze’s select group to draft a constitution for consideration by the National Conference.

“(The) Forum has read with great concern reports credited to Professor Ben Nwabueze to the effect that he wants Mr. President to mandate him to draft the people’s constitution for consideration in the proposed conference,” ACF spokesman Anthony N. Z. Sani said in the statement.

“We do not want to believe the reports, precisely because there is a National Advisory Committee charged with the task and responsibility of collating views for the purpose of advising the government on the mode, nature and content of the proposed conference.

“That Professor Nwabueze and some sections of this country have managed to sell the idea of the conference to the government and to the good people of Nigeria do not qualify him to seek to determine the outcome of the conference upfront.

“More troubling would be the impression created in the minds of Nigerians that the conference is intended to produce a brand new constitution, whereas no sitting
government has the constitutional right to discard the existing constitution in favor of a new one. We hope Professor Nwabueze is not attempting to make the conference sovereign irrespective of the advice by the advisory committee.”

In his reaction, former senator Saidu Dansadau said Nwabueze’s idea amounted to playing with the intelligence of the president.

Dansadau accused Nwabueze of making subtle moves to impose his personal opinion on Nigerians using the national dialogue as a launch pad.

He said Nwabueze resigned his appointment as a member of the Femi Okoruonmu-led National Dialogue Advisory Committee on health grounds, but now turned round to smuggle his ideas through the backdoor.
“My assumption is that he resigned his appointment in the first place because he was not made the chairman of the committee. He must have felt that as far as the issue of dialogue is concerned, he is a more competent person than Femi Okoruonmu to be the chairman of the committee,” he said.

Dansadau urged Jonathan not allow himself to be used by “selfish individuals to promote their selfish agenda,” as this would portray his government in bad light.
He also said if Nigerians were sincerely ready to discuss the critical issues bedeviling the country then there should be a “sovereign” national conference.

For his part, Falana, who spoke to Daily Trust by telephone last night, said also that the mandate of the proposed National Conference should include issues of the economy, the nation’s future, corruption, the rule of law, presidential or a parliamentary system, and unicameral or bi-camera legislature among others.

Daily Trust Newspaper 

EFCC accuses Lagos Speaker of 57 illegal cash transactions

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday told a Federal High Court, Lagos that there were 57 illegal cash transactions involved in the money laundering charges it preferred against the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, and his aide, Mr. Oyebode Atoyebi.

At the commencement of the trial on Thursday, the first prosecution witness, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, who is an EFCC investigator, said the cash transactions were above the threshold prescribed by the Money Laundering Act.

Both Ikuforiji and Atoyebi are being prosecuted by the EFCC for 54 counts of allegedly receiving over N600m from the Lagos State House of Assembly without passing through a financial institution between April 2010 and July 2011.

The EFCC said the alleged offence contravened Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011.

Adebayo, who was led in evidence by EFCC counsel, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), said the anti-graft agency in June 2011 received a petition which “was a complaint of siphoning of public funds against the first accused person (Ikuforiji).”

The witness, upon being asked by Obla, told the court, presided over by Justice Ibrahim Buba, that investigation conducted by his team, revealed that “57 cash transactions” were involved in the charges.

He said, “We received documents from the Lagos State House of Assembly – Cash Release Registers. On analysing the documents, we discovered that various amounts of money were released to the second accused person (Atoyebi) on behalf of the first accused person (Ikuforiji).

“On further analysis of these documents, we also discovered that the cash releases were above the stated threshold in the Money Laundering Act.”

He said Atoyebi received the cash payments on all the 57 occassions on behalf of the Speaker.

He said when confronted with the allegation, the Speaker, Atoyebi and other concerned members and personnel of the House of Assembly admitted in their various statements to the EFCC that the cash transactions actually took place.

Upon an instruction from Obla, Atoyebi read a portion of a statement dated October 28, 2011 credited to Ikuforiji, who was quoted to have confirmed that Atoyebi “properly delivered” the money to him.

The matter was adjourned till December 2.
 Punch Newspapers

Thursday, November 21, 2013

President Jonathan undergoes medical check up in London

In the course of his on-going visit to London for a meeting of Nigeria’s Honorary International Investors’ Council, President Goodluck Jonathan became indisposed and could not be present at the opening of the meeting today.

President Jonathan has since been examined by competent medical practitioners. He has been advised to rest for a few days.

The Presidency wishes to assure all Nigerians that President Jonathan’s condition is nothing serious and that the medical attention he has sought is only precautionary.

Reuben Abati

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

Obasanjo To Jonathan: Tread Softly On G-7 Governors

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to tread softly with the G-7governors who are threatening to dump the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), in the interest of the party.

The governors are Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa).

The governors want Alhaji BamangaTukur removed as the national chairman, even as they demand internal democracy and lifting of the suspension on Governor Amaechi, among other conditions. Although they have had a dialogue with Jonathan, peace remains elusive in the party.

A few days ago, five of the G-7 governors were in Abeokuta to meet with Obasanjo to inform him of their resolve to defect to the APC but their host reportedly cautioned them against doing so, while he reportedly advised them to embrace the party’s internal mechanism to resolve the matter. He also promised to speak with Jonathan over their agitation.

A credible source close to the former president disclosed to LEADERSHIP that Obasanjo had spoken with Jonathan, advising him against pushing the seven governors out of the party as the 2015 general election draws nearer.

The source, who is also a member of the PDP BoT, said: “Baba (Obasanjo) has spoken with President Goodluck Jonathan about the issues raised by those PDP governors. He advised him against being unnecessarily harsh on them. He reminded the president of the danger in sending seven governors away, with electioneering around the corner. He assured those governors would not leave the party, that he was talking with them and persuading them to remain with the party.”

Speaking further, the source said: “President Jonathan explained to him that he had no problem with any of the governors and that some of them like the governors of Adamawa, Rivers and Kano are having problems with the chairman of the party (Tukur) whom they want removed but that he had no such power to do so. He also told Baba that some of them were merely sympathizing with those who have lost the party machinery.

Our source also explained that Obasanjo had briefed the governors on the outcome and “that is why some of them kept away from the Sokoto Retreat organised by the Rotimi Amaechi-led Nigeria Governors’ Forum”. 

Another source who corroborated him explained that although Obasanjo had been stopping the aggrieved governors from defecting to other parties but two of them would surely jump the ship.

“Former president Obasanjo is trying his best behind the scenes to stop those governors from going, but there is nothing he could do that can stop Murtala Nyako and Amaechi from leaving the party, not because of President Jonathan but because they have lost out in the power tussle in their states. So, they have no choice but to go, but the remaining five would surely remain as advised by Obasanjo whom they see as their father.”

Anti-party accusations: PDP invites Baraje, Oyinlola, others to defend themselves

The Umaru Dikko-led Disciplinary Committee of the ruling PDP has formally invited the suspended former acting national chairman of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, former deputy national chairman Dr Sam Sam Jaja, national secretary Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure to appear before it to defend themselves on five-count allegations of misconduct inimical to the party on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, at the PDP presidential campaign office popularly called “Legacy House” in Abuja.

A statement by the committee signed by its secretary, Onwe Solomon Onwe, who doubled as the deputy national secretary of the party, yesterday, said it had received cases of anti-party activities against Baraje, Oyinlola, Jaja and Kazaure from the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

The committee added that, in keeping with Section 57(4) of the PDP constitution, it has since informed the affected persons of the allegations and subsequently invited them to state their own side of the story.

The charges against the accused include staging a walkout along with others at the August 31, 2013, Special Convention of the party in a manner contrary to Section 58(1)(b)(g) and (h) of the party’s constitution; and dragging the party to court on September 2, 2013 without first exploring the internal remedies of the party contrary to Section 58(1) (L) of the constitution.

Other allegations are that the accused persons have made disparaging statements in the media against the PDP national chairman, Bamanga Tukur, and other national leaders of the party including unduly publicising disputes/differences within the party contrary to Section 58(1)(i) of the party’s constitution. Oyinlola particularly wrote letters to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on September 1 and 23, 2013, respectively seeking recognition for the suspended members as NWC members of PDP.

They are further accused of factionalising the party by creating “new PDP” and recruiting members of the party in the National Assembly into their ranks since August 31, 2013, contrary to the provisions of the party’s constitution.

“The affected persons may wish to present their cases orally or in writing either in person or through a counsel of their choice. They may also wish to call witnesses,” the committee said.

I’m unaware of PDP Disciplinary Committee – Oyinlola

But Oyinlola has said the PDP Disciplinary Committee is unknown to law.

He said the fact is that he swore to an oath of office stipulating that he will respect and protect the grund norm of the PDP in his capacity as the custodian of the seal of the party.

Oyinlola, in a statement issued and signed on his behalf by his media aide Deji Falegan, said he was conscious of the provisions of the PDP constitution which states without any equivocation that “nominations to membership of the Disciplinary Committee at the national level shall be ratified by the National Executive Council of the PDP”.

In effect, he said, Oyinlola, “as a law-abiding member of the PDP is not aware of the composition of any disciplinary panel that is not ratified or known to the National Executive Committee of the PDP’’.

‘’This reaction itself is being made out courtesy for the media and its right to inform and be informed, as Oyinlola has not received any correspondence from any quarters and would not honour any invitation from any illegal body since that would amount to violating the constitution of the party. As individuals and elders, the PDP national secretary has great respect for the members of the NWC committee that is, however, not recognised by the PDP constitution which stipulates that the party’s NEC is the statutory body to approve the composition of a disciplinary body at the national level,” he stated. ‘’It is important to stress that the first meeting of NEC of PDP, which is statutorily expected to be a quarterly affair, deliberated on the composition of NEC but never agreed on its membership at the meeting. I am also sure that the second NEC meeting, out of the seven meetings that ought to have been

held statutorily by the present NWC did not also agree on the membership of any Disciplinary Committee. It is rather funny, illogical and antithetical to democratic conduct for the NWC that has consistently denigrated the judiciary, the constitution of the PDP and even the extant grund norm of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to be talking about discipline and internal party democracy, when it has continued to show disregard for the rule of law, and fundamental human rights.

“All these could only indicate indecent political behaviour and lack of accountability and integrity as the party’s spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh, who in his interview with the Sun newspaper of Tuesday, November 19, 2013, was quoted as saying ‘if you didn’t commit the act, the party will not suspend

you’; he stated the position of the NWC to summarily accuse and judge Oyinlola and others.

“Metuh’s reaction clearly gives cause for concern about their true commitment to democracy. I wish to re-assert that I will NEVER compromise illegalities and destructive tendencies that border on the culture of impunity, tyranny and oppression that could be interpreted as the hallmark of dictatorship.

This is indeed the time for introspection and protection of the PDP from descent into anarchy’. If these people truly mean well, they would have taken the pains to examine the causes and effects of occurrences that are fragmenting the PDP instead of further adopting measures designed to put the PDP into disrepute. I was removed by Justice Kafarati on January 11, 2013, and vacated office immediately, as a politician with honour, respect for the rule of law, and a second address.

“Between January and August 2013, I took steps to dialogue with the national leader, His Excellency President Goodluck Jonathan and communicated my grievances to him in writing a couple of times; I made representations to the Chief Tony Anenih Committee; I submitted a memorandum to the PDP Governors Panel headed by His Excellency Alhaji Ibrahim Shema; consulted with the Prof. Jerry Gana Committee; and also had informal consultations with the Governor Seriake Dickson Reconciliation Committee through Chief Dosu Fatokun and agreed to meet with the committee, among other moves, to find an amicable solution to my persecution and illegal removal from office. Yet, they have continued to trail Oyinlola with rabid and unimaginable downbeat intentions.

“I pray that history will be merciful in judgement to all actors in this saga; and that some people will refrain from continuing to take actions that would enter their names on the negative pages of history.”

culled from Leadership Newspaper 

Brussels widow 'slept with husband's corpse for a year'

A Brussels widow slept next to her mummified husband's corpse for a year, her landlord said after making the macabre discovery during an eviction, a Belgian daily reported Tuesday.

The newspaper, La Derniere Heure (The Final Hour), published striking pictures of a shawl-wrapped, emaciated body with a long white moustache, sunken eye sockets and protruding rib-cage, covered in a film of dried skin.

The newspaper said the images were of a man who had died at the age of 73 after living in the down-at-heel Anderlecht district of the Belgian capital for a dozen years or so with his wife.

According to initial medical tests, he died of natural causes a year ago.

The gruesome find emerged because the rent on their apartment had not been paid since November 2012 and the landlord launched eviction proceedings.

"I have seen dead people before... but never in this condition," the landlord was quoted as saying by the newspaper, which is known for its coverage of the weird and wonderful.

"The lady slept next to her husband's body," he said.

Neighbours told the newspaper a pungent odour had drawn their attention to the address, and that the 69-year-old widow had not taken out the garbage recently.

They said the widow had told locals her husband was away "receiving treatment."

Brussels prosecutors said they were attempting to "shed light" on the discovery.

source: yahoo news 

Friday, November 15, 2013

EFCC Arrests Gov. Sule Lamido’s Sons

Gov. Sule Lamido of Jigawa State

Aminu Lamido and Mustapha Lamido, sons of Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido were arrested yesterday, November 14, 2013 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Dependable sources say they were picked up by operatives of the Commission between 10 and 11.55pm in Kano and have been moved to Abuja, the Commission’s headquarters, where a crack team of investigators will grill them.

Their arrest, according to a knowledgeable source, is in furtherance of the investigation that commenced in December 2012 when Aminu Sule Lamido was arrested at the Mallam Aminu Kano Airport en route Cairo, Egypt for failure to declare the $50,000 he had on him.

Though Aminu has since been prosecuted and convicted by a Federal High Court in Kano, investigation as to how he came by the money has led investigations to uncover a web of money laundering in which billions of naira from Jigawa state government accounts are funnelled into the accounts of companies run by the Jigawa state governor and his two sons.

Over N10billion is said to have been transferred from Jigawa state government accounts into the accounts in which Sule Lamido and his two sons have interest from 2007 till date.

The Commission is said to have traced these transfers to 10 companies where Lamido and sons are directors and signatories to the account.

The companies include Bamaina Alluminium Limited, Bamaina Holdings Limited, Bamaina Company Nigeria Limited, Rawda Integrated Services Limited, Speeds International Limited and Saby Integrated Nigeria Limited.

The account of these companies received huge cash inflow between 2007 and 2013, a period that coincide with the tenure of Sule Lamido as governor of Jigawa state. For instance in Bamaina Aluminium where Sule Lamido and his two sons are directors, investigations revealed that the company’s account controlled by Mustapha as signatory received total credit of N1.52billion between January 2010 and August 2013. It recorded a total debit of the same amount, with Mustapha and other companies in which Lamido and his sons are directors, being the beneficiaries.

In the same vein, Bamaina Holdings Limited’s account with the governor as sole signatory received a total of N1.19billion between February 2007 and July 2013. About N1billion was paid from this account into accounts of companies controlled by the governor and his sons.

Massive lodgements were also discovered in the account of Bamaina Company Nigeria limited controlled by Mustapha as sole signatory from Bamaina Alluminium. Between January 2010 and July 2013, the account received over N500million.

From the account of Rawda Integrated Services Limited controlled by Mustapha, there have also been massive movement of funds to another company run by Sule Lamido, Speeds International Limited. Speeds’ account recorded a turnover ofN2.2billion between January 2007 and February 2010.

In the account of Rawda with a new generation bank investigators discovered the movement of N2.6billion to an unknown signatory. That account recorded over one hundred withdrawals running to over N600milion in cash between November 2007 and April 2008

Saby Integrated Services Nigeria Limited, another company owned by Lamido received over N730million from several Jigawa State government agencies between June 2010 and August 2010.

Culled from Sahara Reporters

Monday, November 11, 2013

Taraba Assembly elects new speaker

The bereaved Taraba state House of Assembly now has a new Speaker.

The Assembly this morning elected Josiah Kente as new Speaker to replace Haruna Tsokwa who died after a brief illness on November 4.

Details of the election that produced Mr. Kente is, however, still sketchy. But initial reports suggest Mr. Kente, a former deputy majority leader of the Assembly, emerged by consensus after members agreed to retain the speakership position in the Southern Senatorial Zone of the state. Late Speaker Tsoka hailed from that part of the state.

Deputy Speaker Tanko Maikerifi was reportedly disqualified to allow for religious balancing in the leadership of the state. Acting Governor Garba Umar is muslim and the lawmakers believe another muslim should not be allowed to lead the second most powerful arm of government in the state.

Mr. Tsokwa died of a yet undisclosed ailment on the morning of November 4 at the Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo, the Taraba state capital.

The late speaker was a staunch supporter of Acting Governor Garba in the ongoing battle for the control of the state.

Mr. Tsokwa had escaped death by the whiskers on September 19 when suspected gunmen attacked his convoy along the Jos – Abuja road.

He escaped unhurt but some policemen in his convoy sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds during an exchange of fire between them and their attackers.

culled from premium times