Friday, 31 March 2017

Nis Recruitment Scam: Court Grants Abba Moro Permission For Foreign Medical Check-up

Nis Recruitment Scam: Court Grants Abba Moro Permission For Foreign Medical Check-up

The Federal High Court Abuja, on Friday, granted former Interior Minister, Abba Moro, permission to travel abroad for a medical checkup.

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Moro was granted similar permission on July 14, 2016, to travel for medical treatment.

The former minister is standing trial over alleged N676 million Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment scam.

When the matter was called up for hearing, counsel to Moro, Mr Akinlolu Kehinde (SAN) told the court that the application for leave to travel again was to follow up on the earlier treatment.

“There is an urgent need for him to go for a follow-up checkup on his health as he was given an appointment for April 26.”

Kehinde said to achieve this, his client was praying the court for an order permitting him to travel to Dubai for three weeks and an order directing the release of his international passport.

The lawyer said that he attached a 24- paragraph affidavit in support of his application

He said that the last time the court granted his client leave to travel, he promptly returned to face his trial on completion of his treatment.

Although the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Steven Odiase did not oppose the application, he urged the court to attach conditions since Moro was granted bail on self-recognition.

The judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, granted Moro the permission to travel but ordered him to provide a letter of undertaking from a surety with landed property in Abuja.

Alternatively, the court asked his counsel to guarantee him, that he would come back to face his trial.

“I am disposed to granting the application in favour of the applicant because the reason is a follow up to the earlier treatment.

“However, considering the concerns raised by the complainant, I will impose some conditions,” Dimgba said.

He adjourned the case till May 18 and 19 for the resumption of the trial.

Moro alongside two others are on trial over alleged N676 million Nigeria Immigration 2014 recruitment fraud. NAN

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Exposed!! Checkout Yahya Jammeh's Mile 2 Prison Where Political Opponents Were Beaten to Death

Exposed!! Checkout Yahya Jammeh's Mile 2 Prison Where Political Opponents Were Beaten to Death

The Gambia's Mile 2 Prison

The prison where the controversial ex leader of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, tormented political opponents, has been revealed. 

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The walls were once painted white. And, in its past life, the floor was a layer of smooth cement. But the walls have turned brown now, covered in dust and sweat, and the cement has started to crumble into potholes and cracks.
 
This is the notorious Mile 2 Prison outside the Gambian capital Banjul.
 
Just the mention of that name was once enough to inspire fear in those who did not tow the government line in this tiny West African country.
 
It was where the political prisoners of former president Yahya Jammeh, who ruled The Gambia for more than two decades, since leading a military coup in 1994, were sent.
 
Some endured years of torture before being released. And those were the fortunate ones; others were never seen again.
 
‘They filmed everything they did to me’
 
About a 40-minute drive from the colonial era prison is the home of politician Nokoi Njie. As the late afternoon sun disappears behind the palm and mango trees, her children and relatives gather around her to listen to stories of what life was like behind the prison’s bars.
 
“I still remember the day the security services picked me up. It was April 14, 2016, and we were protesting for electoral reform,” she says, her breathes deep as she tries to hold back her tears.
 
“The beating and torture started as soon as they put us in the lorry that was to take us into custody. We were arrested by big paramilitary men.”
 
She was not alone. Dozens of activists and politicians were picked up that day. It wasn’t the first time Njie had fallen foul of the authorities – but it would be the worst.
 
“It was my second time,” she explains. “In 2011, before the election, I was arrested because I opposed the president’s people registering non-Gambians to vote in our election.”
 
On that occasion she was released after a day. But things would be different this time; she would spend months behind bars without any contact with her family or a lawyer.
 
“When they put me in a cell, they tied my legs with a wire rope which cut deep into my flesh and I was bleeding.

"They then beat me with a baton and a rubber whip made from car tyre. They filmed everything they did to me. It was so bad I started saying my final prayers,” she says, the tears now running down her cheeks.
 
“For three months my family did not see me or hear from me. They thought I was dead.”
 
‘They beat him non-stop’
 
But Njie was lucky. Some of those arrested with her that day did not leave the torture chambers alive.
 
Solo Sandeng was one of them. The opposition activist had, like Njie, been protesting for reform when he was arrested. Not many people know what happened to him, but Njie does.
 
“We were in the same cell,” she says, her voice cracking with emotion. “They beat him non-stop in front of my eyes until he could not move a finger. He was motionless but that did not stop them.”
 
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Wiping away her tears with trembling hands, Njie continues: “They then poured cold water on him to try and make him move.

They then started beating him again. Solo then made one small grunt and that was it. He was dead.”
 
Fifty-seven-year-old Sandeng left behind nine children – and they say they want answers about what happened to their father.
 
“We want justice and we want those behind his death to be brought to court,” explains one of his daughters, Fatima Sandeng, in the family home about an hour outside Banjul.
 
Then, Fatima, who is also an activist, adds defiantly: “Before any reconciliation can happen in our country those who committed these crimes need to face the law. Justice before reconciliation.”
 
Two days after Fatima spoke to Al Jazeera, police found the unmarked grave where her father’s body had been buried.
 
The former director of operations at the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Saikou Omar Jeng, led police to a grave in Tanje, a small fishing village around 33km from the capital.
 
Waiting to die
 
It wasn’t only activists and politicians who bore the brunt of Jammeh’s rule. Anyone who stood in the way of those connected to the seat of power could find themselves imprisoned.
 
Twenty kilometres south of the prison, in a two-bedroom house in the town of Brikama, Musa Jobe still can’t believe that he is a free man.
 
The former tax collector was arrested in 2011 after he upset a group of well-connected businessmen. They accused him of issuing vehicle licences illegally.
 
He spent three years and 11 months behind bars in Mile 2. He thought he would die there, he says, shaking his head.
 
“Two to three people were dying a day of sickness and maltreatment while I was there.”
 
“The court dropped all the charges [against me] because they had no evidence,” he says. “But they still kept me in prison.”
 
Jobe says he was simply waiting for death.
 
“I was kept in a cell with 30 other people. We had no bathroom and had to relief ourselves in a tin on the corner of the room.”
 
The slow but firm ‘wheels of justice’
 
But The Gambia is changing. Jammeh is no longer in power after losing December’s poll.
 
He lost last December’s elections and, after refusing to leave office, was forced into exile in January by forces from the regional bloc ECOWAS.
 
Adama Barrow was sworn in as the country’s new president. One of the first things he did was release the political prisoners and those who had been held without trial. Njie and Jobe were among them.
 
The new government also arrested the former head of the country’s national intelligence agency, Yankuba Badjie, and his deputy Saikou Omar Jeng.
 
Both were accused of overseeing killings, kidnappings, arbitrary arrests, torture and r*pe during their time in office.
 
The new government has also promised to leave no stone unturned when it comes to investigating the abuses that occurred under Jammeh.
 
“We have released all political detainees and political prisoners in The Gambia,” explains Mai Ahmad Fatty, the country’s new interior minister a day after President Barrow ordered the release of more than 90 prisoners from Mile 2 Prison.

“Today as we speak we don’t have any political prisoners or detainees in our country. They were incarcerated on account of their opinion or beliefs. They had no business being in prison so we released them all.”
 
The interior minister says that he wants Gambians to be patient as the new government tries to reform the country’s justice system.
 
“The wheel of justices grinds really slowly but firmly. The government is investigating all allegations of human right abuses and we have apprehended some people who have been accused and they will appear before court,” he tells Al Jazeera.
 
“But the exercise is not complete and we are looking at persons of interests who are alleged to have been involved in these illegal practices and we will not rest until justice is served. Some suspects might be out of the country and we will use the international criminal justice processes to reach them.”
 
Njie says she is happy that Jammeh is no longer running the country and that she finally has a government she believes in.
 
“The new government is doing well,” she reflects as one of her grandchildren looks on from the corner of the living room.

“And we can vote them out if they don’t do as we want them to. Our main problem was Jammeh. Now that he is gone we are happy.”
 
******
Via Vanguard

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Hundreds of Angry Youths Invade Delta Catholic School, Hold Rev. Father Principal Hostage...Find Out Why

Hundreds of Angry Youths Invade Delta Catholic School, Hold Rev. Father Principal Hostage...Find Out Why

File photo

Hundreds of irate youths on Thursday, reportedly invaded a Catholic Grammar School in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, holding the school principal hostage.

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A boarding school located in Onicha-Ugbo, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, was on Thursday, invaded by irate youths who reportedly held the school principal, Rev. Fr. Anthony Banye, hostage for several hours in his office.

According to a report by Punch, the incident at St. Pius X Catholic Grammar School, occurred as a result of the ongoing construction of perimeter fencing of the school premises as the youths destroyed the portion that had already been constructed.

A correspondent revealed that the suspects who stormed the school in their hundreds threatened further havoc should the school authority continue with the fence without their approval.

While confirming the incident to journalists in Asaba, the state capital, the Vice President of the school’s Old Boys’ Association, Chief Austine Nwamu, disclosed that the school principal was however later freed after the youths had pulled down the fence.

While lamenting the destruction, Nwamu said the matter had been reported to the traditional ruler in the area and the state police command.

“N16m was estimated to be needed fence the school round and provide adequate protection for the pupils. With this act, N9m has been wasted. We don’t want to engage in a communal war. Something should be done by government and relevant authorities before it degenerates into a serious crisis,” he said.

He noted that the attack on the 50-years- old school was an attack on pupils who attended it from different parts of the country.

When contacted for confirmation, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, said he had not been briefed on the incident and promised to contact his men in the area for details.

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CBN Approves $10k Per Week Forex Sale to Bureau De Change

CBN Approves $10k Per Week Forex Sale to Bureau De Change

The apex bank in Nigeria has sustained its momentum of heavily pumping foreign exchange into the local economy to help the consolidation of the naira against the dollar.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has slightly modified its forex operations with Bureau de Change (BDCs) operators in the country.

According to Reuters, the CBN claims that the modifications are geared towards ensuring forex availability in the market.

The first of these modifications involve the sale of dollars to the BDCs twice a week instead of the weekly affair that was hitherto in place. Secondly, the CBN will also increase the amount of dollars it offers to each BDC, from the current $8,000 up to $10,000.

Thirdly, a new rate will be set for the sale of USD to the BDCs, as well as a cap on how much the BDCs sell to the public. The new rates, the apex bank said, will be released next week.

This announcement by the CBN comes about a week after the President of the Association of Bureau de Change Operators in Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, cried out over the unfair competition the BDCs were facing from both the parallel market and the commercial banks.

While the former was already selling at a lower rate than the CBN sells to the BDCs, the latter were offered a wide profit margin, a privilege the BDCs were not granted.

However, it seems that the CBN is taking steps to correct the situation with its earlier adjustment of the exchange rate as sales to banks is now N357/$ while sale from banks to the public is capped at N360/$1.

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Ghanaian Actor, John Dumelo Faces Prosecution For Stealing State Vehicle

Ghanaian Actor, John Dumelo Faces Prosecution For Stealing State Vehicle

Ghanaian Actor, John Dumolo is set to face prosecution for allegedly stealing state vehicle, local report says.

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Kwame Baffoe, Supervisor of the Task Force on the Retrieval of State Assets made this know that the popular artisite will be arrested, charged and prosecuted for stealing a state vehicle.


Dumelo, 33, had sent one of the cars, black V8 Toyota Land Cruiser with registration number GE 8118-16 to a workshop in Abelempke, Accra for total rebranding when National Security Operatives pounced on it.

But the Supervisor of the Task Force said Dumelo will be arraigned before court for attempting to rebrand the state vehicle.

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Baffoe said "the officers involved, we have the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) [and] the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), they are building a docket on that and at the appropriate time, he will be arraigned before court. He should be charged for theft because this is a criminal offence."

According to reports, one of the vehicles is a Toyota Land Cruiser V8. After the state officials cross-checked the chassis number (VIN number), the car was state-owned.

Dumelo confessed that the car was given to him by the former First Lady, Lordina Mahama.

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Bande, Audu & More: President Buhari Deploys New Ambassadors to Critical Foreign Missions

Bande, Audu & More: President Buhari Deploys New Ambassadors to Critical Foreign Missions

Bande, Audu & More: President Buhari Deploys New Ambassadors to Critical Foreign Missions

President Muhammadu Buhari has deployed four of the newly approved ambassadors to some critical foreign missions.

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PRESIDENT BUHARI APPROVES DEPLOYMENT OF FOUR AMBASSADORS-DESIGNATE

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate deployment of four out of the newly appointed Ambassadors-Designate as follows:

1. Professor Tijjani Bande, (Kebbi State) to proceed as Nigeria's Ambassador/Representative to the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations Headquarters in New York;

2. Itegboje Sunday Samson (Edo State) to proceed as Nigeria's Ambassador/Deputy Representative, Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations Headquarters in New York;

3. Kadiri Ayinla Audu, (Kwara State) to proceed as Nigeria's Ambassador/Representative to the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations Offices in Geneva;

4. Bankole A. Adeoye, (Ogun State) to proceed as Nigeria's Ambassador/Representative to the Embassy of Nigeria/Permanent Mission to the African Union in Addis Ababa.

FEMI ADESINA
Special Adviser to the President

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Dangote Opens New Shop In Onitsha, Floods Market With Cheap Products

Dangote Opens New Shop In Onitsha, Floods Market With Cheap Products

Nigeria’s most successful conglomerates, the Dangote Plc, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with Bontus Group of Companies based in Onitsha for the supply and distribution of all Dangote products in the commercial city.

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Director in charge of Dangote in the South East, Mr. Tunde Mabogunje signed for his company, while the chairman of Bontus Group, Chief Uche Okafor, signed for his company.


Okafor said at the signing ceremony that with the agreement, all Dangote products, including sugar, cement, noodles, rice and tomato, would soon flood the eastern part of the country at very competitive prices.

The South East director of Dangote, Mr. Mabogunje, said in addition to sugar, salt, cement and other products, his company would launch its brand of rice before December 2017, just as Dangote tomato would soon be in the market.

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See Man Who Allegedly R*ped his 7-month-old Step Daughter in Katsina State (Photo)

See Man Who Allegedly R*ped his 7-month-old Step Daughter in Katsina State (Photo)

Magaji Dansale allegedly raped her 7-month-old daughter

The randy man who reportedly r*ped his step-daughter who is just 7-month-old has landed in serious trouble over the incident.

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A 55-year-old man identified as Magaji Dansale, has allegedly r*ped his 7-month-old step daughter in Marmachi village of Musawa Local Government Area, Katsina State.

The mother of the baby, Zeenat Muntari, told journalists that she separated with the father of the baby and married Dansale. Muntari said that she was suspecting that she took some substances that made her to sleep for several hours, the situation which paved way for her husband to allegedly commit the act.

She claimed that when she woke up to breastfeed the baby, she noticed blood in her private part. She said, “I informed my husband about the matter; he started weeping saying that some people will start accusing him.

“In the morning, while I was washing the baby’s clothes, he also brought his trouser for me to wash and I noticed blood stains on it.

“He later went to bush and brought me some leaves to treat her, saying that it is pile.

“The baby was later taken to Malumfashi General Hospital where the doctor confirmed to us that she was defiled and informed the police.

“I am suspecting him because it is only me and him in the house when the incident happened.”

The baby was later referred to Turai Yar’adua Maternal and Child Hospital, Katsina. The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Gambo Isa, confirmed the incident.

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Revealed: How EFCC Linked Senate President, Saraki, Aides to N3.5 billion Paris Club Refund

Revealed: How EFCC Linked Senate President, Saraki, Aides to N3.5 billion Paris Club Refund

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his Deputy Chief of Staff, and others have been linked with a multi-billion Paris Club Refund scandal, a shocking new investigative report has revealed.

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On Sunday, Nigerians learnt of an explosive report the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari about alleged corrupt practices by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

In the March 10 correspondence to the president, the anti-graft agency detailed how Mr. Saraki — in connivance with his aides and associates – allegedly laundered N3.5 billion traced to the Paris Club loan refund to states.

Investigators say Mr. Saraki enlisted the service of a consultant, Robert Mbonu of Melrose General Services Limited, and Kathleen Erhimu, a staff of Access Bank to liaise with his aides and associates to launder the fund.

The accused persons are: Mr. Saraki’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Gbenga Makanjuola, and Obiora Amobi, Kolawole Shittu and Oladapo Idowu. (Are these guys named in the letter sent by Magu to Buhari?)

When allegations of diversion of parts of the over half a trillion naira Paris Club refund money emerged in February, sparking nationwide controversy, state governors denied misusing the money, and slammed the EFCC’s reported probe as “unwarranted attack on the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, its officials and associated entities”.

Mr. Saraki swiftly dismissed reports linking him to the money as “concocted”, and accused the EFCC acting head, Ibrahim Magu, of being the source of its leak.

But the report to President Buhari, seen by PREMIUM TIMES, provides details of a complex web of questionable money transfers, which investigators say ended with the Senate president.

The report, as well as interviews with officials, also offers some response to the widely-asked question of how Mr. Saraki allegedly became linked to the funds, despite not being a governor. State governor were the direct recipients of the money on behalf of their states.

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Paris Club Loan Refund

The Nigerian government reached a debt relief deal with Paris Club in 2005, and paid $6.2 billion to guarantee a debt relief of up to $18 billion, according to the to Debt Management Office.

But not long after the deal was reached, some states and local governments began raising questions about possible over-deductions of their share of the loan repayment. They argued that the deducted amount did not reflect their actual borrowings from Paris Club between 1995 and 2002.

Many states initially hired consultants to help pursue a refund, but later resolved to engage a consortium of consultants for coordination.

Reconciliation of accounts and negotiations established that over-deductions took place, but states were unsure of how much each state or local government was overcharged.

The complex account reconciliation reportedly made it difficult for the previous governments of Olusegun Obasanjo, Umar Yar’Adua, and Goodluck Jonathan, to settle the matter.

However, the current Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said records showed some states received some refund under previous administrations.

To help states pay workers and retirees, Mr. Buhari, who took office two years ago, continued the reconciliations.

As the reconciliation process was still ongoing, the government pegged initial payments at 50 percent of the estimated excess to the claimants, Mrs. Adeosun said.

THE PAYMENTS WERE SURPRISINGLY NOT BUDGETED FOR BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, MEANING THEY DID not receive the constitutionally-required authorization of the National Assembly.

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SHADY DEAL

Last December, the Ministry of Finance commenced transfers to states. All 36 states received between N4 billion and N15 billion.

Sources familiar with the deal told PREMIUM TIMES that shortly before the ministry commenced transfer after all paperwork had been completed, governors decided to warehouse some of the money —about N17 billion— in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.

According to the sources, the governors hoped to use the money to settle consultants who worked for the refund.

The governors also anticipated a backlash from the National Assembly which might have complained because the refund was not captured in either the 2016 or 2017 budgets.

Our sources said the governors also made plans for the lawmakers.

After apportioning each state’s contribution based on the amount of refund the federal government was going to pay, the 36 governors signed an instruction that the Ministry of Finance remove their respective share of the N17 billion and credit it to the NGF account domiciled at Access Bank.

After the deduction, which is only a fraction of the total sum accrued to each state, the rest of the fund went to the treasury of respective states.

Ms. Adeosun said the governors agreed to spend at least 50 per cent of the funds to their state to settle salary arrears and pensions.

“Disbursement was subject to an agreement by state governments that 50% of any amount received would be earmarked for the payment of salaries and pensions,” the minister said last week.

Our sources believe this questionable deductions partly explained why the finance ministry refused to make public full details of payments to states, contradicting the Buhari administration promise of transparency.

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SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS

Following the deposit of N17 billion into its account, several consultants, lawyers and others began inundating the NGF with requests, officials said.

Although the NGF did not list the names of all those that qualified for settlements, the body confirmed that Melrose General Services Limited was amongst firms that provided services.

The NGF said in a statement that Melrose was paid N3.5 billion after the company “diligently delivered on its contractual obligations.”

But the EFCC, during investigation, uncovered how the director of Melrose, Robert Mbonu, allegedly initiated a series of bank transfers to individuals connected to Mr. Saraki.

A part of the EFCC’s report reads: “Mr. Robert Mbonu is alleged to have received the sum of N3.5billion into his company’s account (Melrose General Services Limited) from the NGF through Account 0005892453 domiciled in Access Bank.

“Investigation revealed that one Kathleen Erhimu is the Relationship Manager to Dr. Bukola Saraki’s account with Access Bank.

“That Saraki at a meeting introduced one Joseph Oladapo Idowu and Gbenga Peter Makanjuola to her and Hon. Makanjuola thereafter introduced Mr. Robert Mbonu to Ms Kathleen Erhimu.

“That Mbonu operates an account, Melrose General Services with Access Bank Plc 0005892453 and 0005653500 which was up till 13th December a business account.

“That Halima Kyari, the Head of Private Banking Group stated in a letter dated 13th December 2016, Mr. Robert Mbonu requested a transfer of Melrose General Services Company account from Business Account to a Private Banking Group Platform as he was expecting huge funds into the account.

“Subsequently, on the 14th December, the sum of N3.5 billion was lodged into Melrose General Services Company account number 0005892453 domiciled in Access Bank from the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).

“That thereafter Mr. Obiora Amobi and Hon. Gbenga Makanjuola were introduced to Access Bank as representatives of Melrose General Services Limited by Robert Mbonu to enable them cash withdrawals from the account.

“That Mr. Obiora Amobi and Gbenga Makanjuola made cash withdrawals of various tranches of N5million and N10million.

“That one Oluyemi Braithwaite, the MD/ CEO of Reinex Bureau de Change, Caddington Capital Limited and Westgate Limited also manages a BDC stated to have known Mbonu as a client and he requested for dollars in exchange for the Naira equivalent which were to be handed over to one Mr. Gbenga in Abuja.

“That Ms. Oluyemi Braithwaite contacted one Hassan Dantani Abubakar, the owner of Hamma Procurement Limited, Ashrab Nigeria Limited and Insoire Solar Application to make available the dollars based on the Naira equivalent as transferred from Robert Mbonu who she had introduced via phone to Hassan Dantani.

“That on 16th December 2016, Melrose General Services transferred the sum of N246million to Hamma Procurement First Bank account No. 2030756168 in exchange for the sum of $500,000 which was handed to one Mr. Gbenga in Abuja who acknowledged receipt of the same amount.

“That on the 21st Dec 2016, Ms Oluyemi Braithwaite contacted Hassan Dantani Abubakar requesting for another transaction of $370,000. Melrose General Services Company transferred the sum of N181m to Inspire Solar Application. The $370,000 was handed over to one Mr. Dapo in Abuja.

“That on the 4th of January 2017, Mbonu through Melrose General Services Company transferred the sum of N248, 500,000 to Caddington Capital Limited belonging to Ms Oluyemi Braithwaite who transferred same to Hassan Dantani Abubakar’s FCMB account, Ashrab Nigeria Limited for the sum of $500,000. The dollar equivalent was handed over to Mr. Kolawole Shittu in Abuja.”

Another part reads: “Investigations further revealed that prior to this transaction in xxii above, Xtract Energy Services Ltd. routinely made deposits into Dr. Bukola Saraki Access Bank United States dollar domiciliary account number: 0059429296 as follows: September 17, 2013, the sum of $80, 235.00, September 12, 2014, the sum of $96,930.00, November 18, 2014, the sum of $99,918.50 and December 19, 2014, the sum of $49,965, respectively.

“That Bosun Ottun further stated deposits into Dr. Bukola Saraki Access Bank United States Domiciliary Account Number: 0059429296 as follows: September 17, 2013, the sum of $80, 235.00, September 12, 2014, the sum of $96,930.00, November 18, 2014, the sum of $99,918.50 and December 19, 2014, the sum of $49,965 were brought to his company by Mr. Tunde Morakinyo who claimed that the funds were payments into Dr. Bukola Saraki’s card account.”

The EFCC further noted that: “Based on the foregoing findings, it is clear that Robert Mbonu, the Managing Director of Melrose General Services Company and his company were used to help divert proceeds of unlawful activities under the guise of payment for contractual obligations with the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).

“Suffice to apprise that all payments received by Melrose General Services Company from the NGF have hitherto been diverted directly via cash withdrawals and indirectly through transfers by Hon. Gbenga Peter Makanjuola, Kolawole Shittu and Oladapo Joseph Idowu who are principal aides of the Senate President.”

NGF denies wrongdoing

Although the NGF admitted it paid out the N3.5 billion to Mr. Mbonu’s firm, the organisation said it knew nothing about how the money was spent afterwards.

“It is not in the NGF’s purview to determine how Melrose or other consultants disburse or utilise the consultancy fee paid to them,” its spokesman, Abdulrazaque Barkindo, said in a statement to PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday.

Mr. Barkindo said the fact that President Buhari had approved a second tranche of the Paris Club loan refund to states was “indicative of his confidence in the NGF for the manner it handled the disbursement of the first tranche of the fund.”

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Saraki, aides, associates and the coincidence

In its report, the EFCC highlighted a number of coincidences in the disbursement of the N3.5 billion and past activities of Mr. Saraki.

The EFCC report did not say Mr. Saraki personally moved some of the N3.5 billion.

But while tracking the money, anti-graft detectives found a consistent pattern in the individuals named in the money laundering.

For instance, Mr. Makanjuola, Mr. Saraki’s Deputy Chief of Staff, featured prominently in the alleged laundering of the N3.5 billion.

Mr. Makanjuola once served as a lawmaker from Kwara State.

Last week, he was named in an ongoing corruption case by a former research institute provost who said he gave Mr. Makanjuola and other federal lawmakers a gratification to the tune of N50 million.

Mr. Mbonu, whose firm received the N3.5 billion as “consultancy payment” from NGF, worked at the defunct Societe Generale Bank owned by Mr. Saraki’s family.

Similarly, Tunde Morakinyo, who was named in the report as having allegedly conveyed money for Mr. Saraki in 2014, was a longtime aide to the Senate President.

Past assignments Mr. Saraki was believed to have engineered for Mr. Morakinyo included recommending him as an aide to public officials from Kwara State so as to keep tab on their activities and report back to his principal.

PREMIUM TIMES identified Mr. Morakinyo as a front for Mr. Saraki in this newspaper’s Panama Papers series published last year.

Mr. Morakinyo helped Mr. Saraki conceal substantial amount of money in secret offshore tax havens.

Mr. Saraki also had a history with Dantani Abubakar, whom the EFCC identified as the bureau de change operators whose services were engaged in the deal.

In December 2015, the State Security Service announced the arrest of its personnel who allegedly robbed a bureau de change operator in Abuja of N310 million.

But the secret police was silent on the identity of the victim.

Sahara Reporters later identified Mr. Dantani as the owner of the fund and detailed how he had allegedly served as a regular money changer for Mr. Saraki.

Asides the individuals named, the EFCC also said it established that parts of the N3.5 billion ended up in local and foreign bank accounts allegedly operated by Mr. Saraki.

Source: Premium Times

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See The Face Of The Female Herbalist Who Duped Her Victim Of N45million

See The Face Of The Female Herbalist Who Duped Her Victim Of N45million

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibadan zonal office, Oyo State, on Thursday arrested a herbalist for falsely obtaining N45m from a victim under the pretext of offering herbal and spiritual healing.

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According to The Punch, a statement from the EFCC Head of Public Affairs in the zone, Ayo Oyewole, said the suspect, Aminat Okiribiti, 34, committed the crime with two other accomplices at large, one of who is said to be her husband.

The statement said, “Aminat (Okiribiti) was arrested for an alleged case of conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretences. In a rehash of the old infamous advance fee fraud tactic of spiritual help and solution to all problems, a victim recounted her ordeal in the hands of a syndicate to our operatives, signalling a warning to the public.

“Aminat, alongside other three cohorts still at large, conspired, using the decoy of providing a cure and spiritual solution to the health challenges of the victim’s children and fleeced her of the sum of N45m.

“Aminat, who is married to one Wande Okiribiti, 47, who is still at large, confessed that some of the money obtained from the victim was collected through her (Aminat’s) bank account domiciled in one of the new generation banks located in Ibadan.”

The statement said Aminat and the victim met sometime in October 2014, at Utako, Abuja, adding that the suspect would be charged to court at the end of the investigation.

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Must Read : How Tinubu’s Wife Allegedly Embarrassed Ondo State Governor At Her Husband’s Event (photo)

Must Read : How Tinubu’s Wife Allegedly Embarrassed Ondo State Governor At Her Husband’s Event (photo)

The cold war between the National Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN reverberated at the annual Colloquium organized in honour of Tinubu in Lagos on Monday.

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The wife of the APC Leader, Oluremi Tinubu, could not hide her disgust for the Ondo Governor as she ordered the latter out of the front roll of dignitaries billed to take photograph with her husband.

Several eyewitnesses at the event informed Sahara Reporters that Mrs Oluremi Tinubu, herself a serving Senator upon sighting Mr. Akeredolu at the front roll spontaneously snapped violently against the Ondo Governor and ordered him out of the front roll.

Sources said that it took the intervention of the celebrant, Tinubu, and the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akinolu before Mrs. Tinubu could be pacified.

But inspite of the intervention, the Ondo Governor was nevertheless implored to move a bit to the back to ‘completely douse tension.’

Others at the front included the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, the representative of President Buhari and Minister of Interiors, Abdulrahman Dambasau.

Mrs. Tinubu is reputed to be hostile and rude to friends and associates of her husband she does not agree with.

She has also at several occasions physically assaulted fellow legislators, the latest being Senator Dino Melaye and the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

Source: Sahara Reporters

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Tension As Traditional Rulers, 200 Others Join Massob In Enugu

Tension As Traditional Rulers, 200 Others Join Massob In Enugu

The leadership of Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, has revealed that some traditional rulers have joined up in the pro-Biafra struggle.

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Leader of the MASSOB-Biafran Independence Movement, BIM, in Enugu North zone, Chief James Omeke, while speaking to the press, during the mobilization and sensitization of the new members from Igbo Etiti, revealed that their numbers are rising daily.

Chief Omeke said that the new members were taught that non-violence would earn them their sovereignty.

Omeke further explained that the regional administrator of Igbo Etiti, Jude Elugwu with other members traveled the entire Igbo Etiti to sensitize people and recruit new members.

He said, “We see the recent mobilization and sensitization of people of Igbo Etiti region as very successful as we now have in our fold traditional rulers and about 200 new committed members enlisted into MASSOB-BIM.

“I cannot reveal the identity of the traditional rulers because it is not in my power to do so. Our national leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike will do that when the time is ripe.


“We told them that our national leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike had taken the matter up to the level of United Nations (UN), intimating them of his plans to carve out Biafra from Nigeria.

“The mobilization of new members witnessed a large turnout of people from twelve villages. We conscientised our new members on why MASSOB-BIM remained non -confrontational, we told them how we intend to actualize Biafra without a single gunshot.

“Our message to them is Biafra, our weapon, is non-violence.”

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Just In : Finance Minister Sacked

Just In : Finance Minister Sacked

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has sacked country’s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan after days of speculation that rocked the country’s markets and currency.

Mr Gordhan will be replaced by Malusi Gigaba, said a statement issued late on Thursday by the president’s office.

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Earlier this week, the president recalled Mr Gordhan from planned events in the UK.

Sfiso Buthelezi will become Deputy Finance Minister, replacing Mcebisi Jonas.

President Zuma also made a number of other changes in the cabinet.

“I have directed the new ministers and deputy ministers to work tirelessly with their colleagues to bring about radical socioeconomic transformation and to ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality,” President Zuma’s statement said.

Last October, Mr Gordhan was charged with fraud, but the charges were later dropped.

He has described the allegations as politically motivated.

Mr Gordhan has been seen as standing up to President Zuma in cabinet and has warned against corruption becoming rampant.

The South African Communist Party, an ally of the governing African National Congress, had earlier lodged a formal objection to plans to dismiss Mr Gordhan, who is widely respected internationally.

Many senior ANC figures also opposed the finance minister’s removal.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s main opposition party, said it would call a vote of no-confidence in President Zuma in parliament.

Mr Gordhan’s recall from the UK caused South Africa’s rand to lose nearly 5% of its value against major currencies earlier this week.

Pressure has been growing on Zuma to step down amid numerous allegations of corruption. He denies the claims.

* NAN, BBC

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EFCC Re-arraigns Futa Vice Chancellor Over N156m Fraud

EFCC Re-arraigns Futa Vice Chancellor Over N156m Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, March 30, 2017 re-arraigned the duo of the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Professor Adebiyi G. Daramola and the Bursar, Emmanuel Ayodeji A. Oresegun before Justice W. R. Olamide of the Ondo State High Court, Akure on a 9-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretense, abuse of office, misappropriation of funds and conspiracy to steal to the tune of N156,984,455.33 (One Hundred and Fifty Six Million, Nine Hundred and Eighty Four Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty-Five Naira, Thirty Three Kobo).

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The commission’s Head Media & Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren stated this in a press statement issued on Thursday.

The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

In view of their plea, prosecution counsel, Benedict Ubi prayed the court for a trial date.

Counsel for the 1st and 2nd defendants, O. O. Ogunbade and Ibakun Fasami Prayed the court to allow the defendants continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted them by Justice S. A. Bola on the 14th of February, 2017.

The EFCC counsel did not oppose the application.
Justice Olamide granted bail to the accused on the previous terms and adjourned the case to 3, 4, 10 and 11 of May, 2017 for hearing.

The VC and the Bursar’s journey to the dock followed a petition to EFCC sometime in 2016, alleging that the duo and the governing council of the University were entrenched in unmitigated corruption, fraud, mindless stealing of the funds of the Federal University of Technology, Akure.

It was alleged that the VC misapplied funds, collects housing allowances whilst living in government residential quarters, drew Furniture Allowance annually instead of once in 4 years as approved by Salaries and Wages Commission, uses public funds to finance private expenses, illegal payment of allowances to Council members, amng others.

On of the charge reads: “That you, Professor Adebiyi G. Daramola on or about the 2nd of September, 2016 at Akure within the Akure Judicial Division of the honourable court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of Twenty Four Million Two Hundred and Twenty Three Thousand Four Hundred and Eighty Four Naira (N24, 223,484.00) only from the Federal University of Technology Akure, when you falsely represented that the said sum of money was for your Biennial family vacation overseas for the year 2015 and 2016, which representation you knew was false”


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Efcc Boss Magu Sues Sun Newspaper For N5b Over ‘abuja Mansions’

Efcc Boss Magu Sues Sun Newspaper For N5b Over ‘abuja Mansions’

Hawa Lawal: Ibrahim Magu, acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) EFCC, has written the publisher of the Sun Newspaper in Abuja seeking N5 billion compensation and an apology.

Wilson Uwujaren, Head Media, and Publicity, EFCC said this on Thursday in a statement in Abuja.

He said Magu was seeking the compensation for “libelous imputations and statements” made against him in a story published in the March 25, 2017, edition of the Saturday Sun.

“The publication was captioned “Magu Under Fresh Probe over 2 Abuja Mansions”.

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Magu’s solicitor, Wahab Shittu, said the authors of the story – Fred Itua, James Ojo and Lawrence Enyoghasu, “wilfully and maliciously made false, destructive, and defamatory statements” against him.

He said that the paper quoted unidentified sources.

Uwujaren said that the writers of the “offensive” report, had maliciously alleged that Magu owned “two mansions on different streets in highbrow Maitama area of Abuja”

“This is a case which they could not substantiate, and which in fact was false, and nothing but the figments of their imaginations.

The statement said that Magu further reiterated that “neither himself nor his wife owns any property in Maitama.

He said that Magu in addition to the demand for N5 billion compensation has charged the publishers to issue a public apology and immediate retraction in writing of these false libellous statements”, within the next seven days.

The statement also demanded that it must be published on the front page of the newspaper.

”Failure of which, “legal remedies including monetary damages, injunctive reliefs, and an order that you pay necessary costs including solicitor’s fees for your defamation”, will be taken.

It added that the publishers are also to provide “written assurance within seven days, that they would cease and desist from further defamation” of Magu’s name, integrity, and reputation,

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Abacha Did Not Steal Any Money - Bamayi

Abacha Did Not Steal Any Money - Bamayi

Former Chief of Army Staff, General Ishaya Bamaiyi, yesterday, said that Late Gen. Sani Abacha, was not the corrupt leader he was said to be and that the concept of “Abacha Loot” was a media creation.

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He made excuses for Nigerian funds stashed in foreign countries by the Gen. Abacha government, saying that it was because of the challenges the nation had with Western countries, at the time. He spoke during a public presentation of his book, “Vindication of Abacha” which represents a spirited attempt to present Late Gen. Abacha in good light, in Abuja.

Gen. Bamayi noted that President Mohammadu Buhari was part of the bacha government which was why foreign governmrnts were reluctant to listen to him on the request to return funds stashed abroad by the Abacha regime.

He said, “If you remember, we had problemin Sierra‎-Leone and Liberia under Abacha government and it was money realised under Abacha regime that we used to buy weapons and ammunition to help them fight. I am happy the former minister of finance said the money was not looted but things happen and when things happen like thatand you are not here to defemd yourself rumours will just be flying.

“I am not holding brief for Abacha but I would noot be in a position to know if money was looted. What I know is that things do happen and I know that Abacha did very well for the country. If we see him from the bad aspect, we should also look at his good aspect and remember him for the good things he did for the country.

That is why I said Abacha loot is a media creation”. Also speaking, former Head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, who was Chairman of the occasion, urged the federal government to make public, the status of the Abacha loot by telling Nigerians how much has been recovered, how much left.

He said that the several coups and counter coups after his administration were for reasons other than the unity of the nation.


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Randy Vice-principal Arrested For Impregnating Teenage Student, Dating Six Other Students

Randy Vice-principal Arrested For Impregnating Teenage Student, Dating Six Other Students

Nemesis has caught up with a randy 51-year-old Vice Principal (names withheld) arrested by the Police for allegedly impregnating a 16-year-old JSS 3 student of his school.

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The suspect has also been accused of sleeping with six other female students of the same school.


It was gathered that the Vice Principal had lured the teenage student to his office, where he had intercourse with her.

The Vice-Principal, it was gathered, had been having sex with the same female student in his office in the past before the last encounter exposed him. Director General of Niger State Child Rights Agency, Mr. Mairam Kolo, who confirmed the development, expressed dismay over the matter, adding that the suspect has been handed over to the police Criminal Investigation Department for interrogation and prosecution.

She said there are evidences to also show that the same Vice Principal has been accused of allegedly having affairs with six other female students of the same school.

She added that the students involved have confessed and that they are even ready to testify against the suspect before the security agency.

It was learned that the pregnant student disclosed that the VP is a family friend, who had always invited her to his office; asking after her parents and used to give her between N100 to N200 as transport fare, but that on the fateful day, the VP went further to have intercourse with her in his office. She disclosed that the VP has done it with her three times in his office.

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Buhari will return to see UK doctors –Presidency

Buhari will return to see UK doctors –Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Presidency on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari has not changed his plan to return to his doctors in London, United Kingdom for check-up.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in an interview with journalists.

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Shehu said it was not true that Buhari had decided to bring his doctors to Nigeria instead of returning to London.

The presidential spokesman however did not specify when Buhari would return to London.

He said, “It is false news (that Buhari is no longer going to London). We are not aware of the reported advance movements.

“The last time the President spoke about this, he said he would return to his doctors after some time. We are not aware that this has changed.”

Buhari had shortly after he returned to the country after his 49-day medical vacation in London admitted that he had never been that sick in his life.

He then gave an indication that he would return to London for further checkup.

“I am feeling much better now, there may, however, be need to have further follow-ups within some  weeks,” the President had said.


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Photo: Nigerian Man And His Ugandan Girlfriend Arrested With 1kg Of Heroin In India

Photo: Nigerian Man And His Ugandan Girlfriend Arrested With 1kg Of Heroin In India

Police in Mohali, India police have arrested a Nigerian national and his Ugandan girlfriend and recovered 1 kg of heroin, worth around Rs 5 crore, from their possession.

The Nigerian suspect simply identified as Neubuz and Helen from Uganda were nabbed on Tuesday, March 28th, following the arrest of three persons, including two women, from whom the police had recovered 500 gm of heroin, worth Rs 2.5 crore, two days ago.

"During interrogation, the trio had stated that they had procured the heroin from the Nigerian national and his friend, both putting up in Delhi," said Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police Kuldeep Singh Chahal.

The Mohali CIA wing conducted a raid on their rented accommodation in Delhi and nabbed them with the booty. The police said earlier both accused had visited India in 2011 on a tourist visa for three months.

"They again came here last month on a six-month tourist visa. The accused posed as cloth merchants, but were drug peddlers," said the SSP.

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During preliminary interrogation, the foreign nationals said they used to get the drug from another Nigerian national, staying in Noida.

"Investigations are on in this regard," said the police.

Both accused were produced before a local court on Wednesday, March 29th, which remanded them to five-day police custody. A case has been registered under Sections 21, 22, 25, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act at the Mataur police station.

Source: The Tribune India

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Forex manipulation: EFCC invites more senior CBN officials

Forex manipulation: EFCC invites more senior CBN officials

EFCC operatives

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has invited more senior officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria as part of investigations into an alleged foreign exchange scam and other sharp practices within the apex bank.

Reliable sources within the anti-graft agency said the investigators probing the scam believed strongly that the activities of some officials of the bank impacted negatively on the fortunes of the naira and contributed to its drastic slump in recent months.

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The PUNCH had exclusively reported on Thursday that the EFCC detained and grilled two directors on Wednesday. It was, however, learnt on Thursday that the officials were released late on the same day after writing statements on oath.

A reliable source within the agency had earlier assured our reporter that the CBN senior officials were being grilled as of the time this paper was going to bed on Wednesday.

Additional findings by The PUNCH on Thursday revealed that the senior officials grilled by the EFCC were the Director of Procurement and a Special Adviser to the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

A top official at the anti-graft agency said the bank accounts of suspected persons were being scrutinised by security agents with a view to determining the sources of money and their trails.

The source added that the agents would check if the money which passed through the accounts corresponded with the salaries and allowances of these officials.

The source said, “We actually invited about four senior CBN officials on Wednesday but only two showed up. One of them told us that he was ill and asked us to reschedule the invitation.

“We have now sent out letters to other senior officials and they will appear before us soon. You should understand that things that involve the apex bank are always sensitive.”

The source said due to the sensitive nature of the investigations, the presidency must be carried along. He added that the EFCC would send a report of the probe to President Muhammadu Buhari after investigations might have been concluded.

The commission had about four weeks ago commenced investigations into the activities of the apex bank over sharp practices that caused the naira to depreciate sharply.

However, immediately after the EFCC investigations commenced, the CBN reeled out new policies which caused the naira to appreciate. Detectives at the commission suspect that many top level officers at the CBN are part of the alleged fraud.

Speaking on Wednesday, a source at the EFCC, who wished to remain anonymous had said, “We have arrested two directors of the CBN in connection with forex manipulation. Ironically, immediately we started investigating these chaps a month ago, the CBN reeled out a new forex policy which seeks to flood the market with excess dollars to strengthen the naira.

“Already, we have searched their houses and recovered some sensitive documents. We have reason to believe that they may not have acted alone. We expect to make more discoveries as investigations continue.”

When contacted on Wednesday, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, had said that no director of the apex bank had been arrested by the EFCC.

He said, “This is not true. No director of the bank (CBN)  has been arrested by the EFCC. The current activities of the CBN  in the forex market are a result of months of study, monitoring  and planning to tackle the activities of black marketers.”

On Thursday, however, when one of our correspondents confronted Okoroafor with additional information on the probe and the designations of those grilled and briefly detained, he was less than forthcoming.

Asked to respond, Okoroafor said, “You have published a false story that our directors were being detained, what do you want me to say? I have no comments. You can continue with your falsehood. I have no comment.”

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...And Again, EFCC Goes After Another Senator Over N4b Contract Fraud, 20 Bank Accounts

...And Again, EFCC Goes After Another Senator Over N4b Contract Fraud, 20 Bank Accounts

Saraki and EFCC Magu

The Nation - A senator is the subject of a massive probe for not executing N4 billion contracts awarded by the government of Delta State, The Nation learnt yesterday.

Sources told The Nation yesterday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was also looking into how the lawmaker operates 20 accounts in six banks with different signatories.

Besides, the senator allegedly used a company, to buy a 12-storey building in Apapa, Lagos, belonging to the Delta State Government for N805 million.

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The Nation learnt that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) record showed that the senator  “did not declare all the companies and bank accounts he has despite being operational prior to the time he made the declaration”.

The senator’s investigation, a source said, followed a petition from  Delta State.

The petitioner alleged that the senator owns a firm which was awarded a N1,580,000,000 contract by the Direct Labour Agency to supply construction equipment.

Instead of following specifications, the petition said, the senator allegedly supplied used equipment, contrary to the Bill of Quantity which specified new ones.

Besides,  his firm was alleged to have  secured  over N2 billion contracts from nine local government areas in Delta worth over N2billion when it was yet to be registered under the Company and Allied Matters Act.

The firm was alleged to have  secured N474, 936,000 contract from the Waste Management Board  to supply bulldozers, payloaders and tipper lorries.

The, EFCC, however, found out that the equipment were used items contrary to contract specifications.

A source in the anti-graft commission said: “We have traced five companies to the senator.  We were able to detect that in the course of contract execution, his company  imported and supplied used equipment, contrary to the specifications in the bill of quantity.

“Our team has discovered that the senator’s personal and companies’ bank accounts were linked to a bank verification number (BVN) which has more than 20 accounts domiciled in six banks.

“But his relative is the sole signatory to the accounts.

“They also located  one foreign account identified with the senator in HSBC Bank in Marbile Arch London, United Kingdom”.

Responding to a question, the EFCC source added: “So far, the senator has questions to respond to bordering on false asset declaration, official corruption, procurement fraud, tax avoidance, false information, impersonation and embezzlement of public funds.

“We are almost concluding the investigation of the senator. We will soon invite him for interview.”

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Thursday, 30 March 2017

An American Airlines co-pilot died during landing, and this is scary

An American Airlines co-pilot died during landing, and this is scary

American Airlines issued a statement yesterday explaining a tragic medical mystery that happened in the cockpit.

On Wednesday, an American Airlines co-pilot died upon landing in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The first officer was identified as William “Mike” Grubbs.

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According to CNN, the captain of American Airlines Flight 1353, flying from Dallas-Fort Worth to Albuquerque, declared a “medical emergency” only two miles away from their destination.

Dan Jiron, a spokesperson for Albuquerque International Sunport, reported, “They landed without incident, taxied to the gate and were met by medical personnel.”
CPR was performed on Grubbs for about 35 — 40 minutes before paramedics declared the first officer dead.

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An American Airlines spokeswoman, Polly Tracey, released a statement stating, “American Airlines is deeply saddened by the death of first officer William “Mike” Grubbs. We’re taking care of first officer Grubbs family and colleagues and our thoughts and prayers are with them them during this time.”

According to CNN, the Federal Aviation Administration is planning to follow up with American to learn more about what happened on Wednesday. As of right now, no cause of death has been released.

An American Airlines co-pilot died during landing, and this is scary


Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Luckily for the passengers and crew aboard the American Airlines Boeing 737 flight, a safe landing was achieved by the able-bodied captain. CNN reports that Boeing 737 planes can be safely landed by a single crew member, although that circumstance is not ideal.

Our thoughts and prayers are with First Officer Grubbs’ family and friends at this time. As the week goes on, we’ll hopefully learn more about what happened in the cockpit on Wednesday and what could have caused this tragic incident.

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Former US Vice President, Joe Biden Meets Dog Named After Him... What He Did Will Surprise You (Photos)

Former US Vice President, Joe Biden Meets Dog Named After Him... What He Did Will Surprise You (Photos)

A former US Vice President, Joe Biden was all smile after meeting an adorable dog named after him during an event.


It was a sweet moment as former Vice President Joe Biden couldn't hide his joy after meeting a a dog named Biden.

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According to Time, along with Democrats, Biden marked the seven-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act at the Capitol in Washington D.C. on Wednesday. He used the opportunity to speak out against the GOP health care bill in an effort to preserve President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

But he hit an unplanned item on the agenda when he greeted a 4-month-old Golden Retriever who coincidentally shared his namesake.

The affection between the two was something extraordinary. The dog was excited, even licking the politician's face, the maximum expression of diplomacy.

More Photos...

Former US Vice President, Joe Biden Meets Dog Named After Him... What He Did Will Surprise You (Photos)

Former US Vice President, Joe Biden Meets Dog Named After Him... What He Did Will Surprise You (Photos)


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Abuja Airport runway now 57.5% completed – Minister

Abuja Airport runway now 57.5% completed – Minister

The reconstruction of the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, has reached 57.5% completion, mid-way into the six weeks earmarked for the project, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, disclosed in Abuja on Thursday.

“Work is going on smoothly as you can see. We have taken you round and everything is in order,” Senator Sirika said when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, led a team of journalists on an inspection tour of the project.

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“The contractor has mobilised fully and we have now gone about 57.5% of the total work, which is good, which shows that we are on course, which shows that we are on time, which shows that we are doing what we are supposed to do to ensure that the runway is opened come 19th of April,” he said.

The Minister of State for Aviation said in addition to the opening of the runway at the expiration of the six-week target, an upgraded terminal to ensure passenger comfort, in line with the protocol of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), will also be ready.

“This airport will be opened come 19th of April and it will not only be opened at the time but the terminal building will wear a new look.

We are doing a complete rehabilitation of Terminal D of the International Airport. We will put escalators and lifts at the terminal and also we are opening a lounge for the physically challenged and the elderly.

Senator Sirika said work on the runway is also going on simultaneously with lighting installation and laying of cables, which have also reached an advanced stage.

He said for the first time in Nigeria, glasphalt – a variety of asphalt that uses crushed glass – is being used to reinforce the runway and also prevent cracks.

In his remarks, the Minister of Information and Culture said the inspection tour is aimed at providing first-hand experience for the journalists on the progress so far made on the reconstruction of the runway.

“Last week Tuesday, we took a trip by train to Kaduna together. We experienced the train ride, we saw the train station and the Honourable Minister (of State for Aviation) received us at the airport, where we were taken round the operations at the Kaduna Airport and we came back together by road to give you a wholesome and complete experience of the efforts we have put in place to ensure minimal inconvenience and maximum security and safety, occasioned by the temporary closure of the airport

“We believe it’s only fitting that we bring you here today, since we have three weeks gone from the six weeks we promised, for you to come and see the extent of work that has been done,” he said.

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Samsung eyes rebound with Galaxy S8 phones, virtual assistant

Samsung eyes rebound with Galaxy S8 phones, virtual assistant

samsung galaxy s8

Samsung on Wednesday unveiled its new Galaxy S8 smartphones, incorporating the virtual assistant Bixby, as the market leader seeks to rebound from a chaotic handset recall and a corruption scandal.

The South Korean giant’s mobile chief DJ Koh told a New York event the Galaxy S8 and S8+ handsets marked “a new era of smartphone design.”

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Fitted with screens of 5.8 and 6.2 inches, the two handsets include Samsung’s upgraded digital assistant Bixby, competing in a crowded field that includes Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

The most striking feature of the new phones is what Samsung dubs an “infinity display” — an expanded glass screen that covers the entire front of the device and appears to curve seamlessly around its edges. The home button has been replaced with a pressure-sensitive section embedded under the screen.

Both phones are water resistant and allow for biometric authentication with fingerprint and iris scanners.

Bixby marks a further step into services for the world’s biggest smartphone vendor, allowing users to shop, search for images and get details about nearby places with image recognition technology and geolocation.

Samsung’s services chief Sriram Thodla said Bixby would allow for better navigation of applications on the phone.

“We’ve built intelligence into the camera,” he said.

“If you see something you want to buy, just point the camera at it and Bixby will find it from one of our partners.”

The digital assistant will also enhance the phone’s capabilities as a remote control for connected home devices, Thodla said.

The South Korean electronics giant late last year bought Viv, an artificial intelligence startup with co-founders who were part of the team that built virtual assistant Siri, which Apple bought some seven years ago.

As Samsung’s top-line handsets, the Galaxy S8 models will challenge the latest Apple iPhones.

The new phones will be available starting April 21, Samsung said. In the US market, they will be sold through major carriers and retailers, with unlocked devices priced from $725.

– After the debacle –

The Galaxy S8 release comes after Samsung was forced to recall its Note 7 phones for catching fire due to overheating batteries.

The debacle cost the South Korean company billions of dollars in lost profit and hammered its global reputation and credibility, during a torrid period that has also seen it embroiled in a corruption scandal.

Its vice-chairman Lee Jae-Yong, heir to the parent Samsung group, has been arrested and indicted for bribery, along with four other senior executives, in connection with a graft scandal that saw ex-president Park Geun-Hye impeached.

Samsung apologized to consumers for the recall and was forced to postpone the S8 launch. Its investigation blamed the problems on faulty batteries.

The firm later embarked on a campaign to restore its battered reputation, placing full-page advertisements in US newspapers that admitted it “fell short” on its promises.

The tech giant says it has also come up with elaborate step-by-step safety verification procedures for future products to prevent similar disasters.

As part of its launch, Samsung will be including its Gear virtual reality headset to customers pre-ordering the handsets.

Samsung also introduced its Dex adapter which allows the smartphones to be transformed into desktop computers.

– Positive reviews –
Analysts offered generally positive reviews while expressing caution over the high price tag.

“The price of the new phones is up to $100 higher than their predecessors and almost all of the premium smartphones they’ll be competing with, which feels like a big risk,” said Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research.

Dawson said Samsung is betting “that its phones will justify a higher price, whereas it could have used these new phones as a way to drive higher sales after a couple of years of stagnation.”

Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy said he was “impressed than I thought I’d be,” adding that Samsung had “done everything they could at this point” to produce a quality handset.

Avi Greengart of the consultancy Current Analysis said in a tweet that the new phone “has a lot of new tech but not much changed in the camera. Its all about the (amazing) form factor.”

Bob O’Donnell of Technalysis Research tweeted that “The phone as a true pocket computer is starting to get more real.”

tu-rl/sg

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