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Maiyegun General

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

GNI vs SIA: Ogun Tribunal admits INEC materials in evidence

Amosun & Isiaka

Ogun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Abeokuta, on Tuesday, admitted in evidence electoral materials brought before it by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The materials were brought to the court on Monday by the Deputy Director/Head of Department, Electoral Operations, Samuel Ogunjemilua, through a writ of subpoena.

Electoral materials admitted in evidence included the Certified True Copies of election result sheets such as forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D, EC8E; Voter Register Records and Incident Forms.

Counsel for the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate in the April 11 election, Mr. Gboyega Isiaka, Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN), at the resumed hearing on Tuesday, applied to the court to tender the documents in evidence but was opposed by counsel for the first and second respondents(Governor Ibikunle Amosun and the All Progressives Congress).

Quoting paragraphs 18 (7) and 41 (2)(3) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), counsel for the first respondent, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), argued that documents could only be tendered from the bar if parties had consented to such documents at the pre-hearing stage.

Fagbemi also explained that there was nowhere in the report of the pre-hearing report dated July 13, where the parties agreed that the documents were to be tendered.

He further explained that a document, in this circumstance, must have been pleaded in the petition and also an evidence in relation to the document.

He maintained that the petition only pleaded for three wards of Alapoti, Ado I and Ado II all in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government.
Fagbemi added, “That is the reason why we are objecting to the tendering of all the documents. Documents are to buttress what is on the ground before the court. There is no room for a wholesale dumping of evidence, each document must be tied with pleadings and evidence.
“And there is no room in relation to all the witnesses that have been called to allow the admissibility of the documents. The document cannot come through the bar because it was agreed to at the pre-hearing session and it should come in, it has to be tied to the petition.”
Counsel for the APC, George Oyeniyi, agreed with Fagbemi, adding that no specific mention was made of four local governments of Obafemi-Owode, Ifo, Sagamu and Ewekoro in the petition.

Oyeniyi, while praying the court not to allow all the documents, said they were irrelevant since parties did not consent to the documents and as such, could only be tendered through the witness.

Oyeyipo, in his response, said the practice was that CTCs of documents were public documents that could be, and most times were tendered by counsel from the bar.

In his ruling, the Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Henry Olusiyi, agreed with the counsel for the petitioners that the documents could be tendered from the bar.
He said, “The sole matter for determination is whether the CTC of result sheets, voter register and incident forms could be admissible in evidence through the bar.

“The documents are admissible in evidence and can be tendered through the bar. The sole issue for determination is hereby resolved in affirmative in favour of the petitioners.”
“The documents are admissible in evidence and can be tendered through the bar. The sole issue for determination is hereby resolved in affirmative in favour of the petitioners.”

Now this is dope! "Nelson Mandela's grandson, Mbuso Mandela, was arrested and charged for raping a 15 year old girl inside a restaurant's toilet. He's 24.

The 24-year-old appeared in a court in Johannesburg, South Africa yesterday

He will remain in custody until Friday when his bail hearing would take place.

Rape in a restaurant toilet?

Omo Mandela?

That's not a good scandal to hit a family like Mandelas.

SECURITY: FG monitors Nigerians’ Facebook, Twitter accounts

President Muhammadu Buhari

The Federal Government has been monitoring the social media accounts of Nigerians who are suspected of having links with various terrorist groups, including Boko Haram and the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, findings by SUNDAY PUNCH have shown.

Our correspondent learnt that through covert operations, which have been going on for a while, security agencies hack into the Facebook and Twitter accounts of those they are monitoring.

The move, it was learnt, was meant to frustrate terrorist attacks on the country.

The project, which is costing the country millions of dollars, is being managed by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Multiple sources, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to inform the press about the security checks, stated that the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan approved the request by security agencies to spy on targeted sections of the population, mainly religious extremists and radicalised individuals.

It was gathered that the project is being coordinated by some foreign firms, including an Israeli firm, Elbit System.

Our correspondent learnt that the local espionage involves hacking of phones, email accounts, social media accounts and bugging of telephone conversations of persons of interest.
A source said, “The surveillance system is not being used to target everyone, as people may want to believe. It is only deployed to get intelligence on specific targets because it would be hard and difficult to use such system to spy on all Nigerians; the amount of data would be too huge and staggering for the assessors to sort and manage.
“Basically, the system is used to hack into emails and phones of targets, and the targets are those who are suspected of having ties with terrorists, whether Boko Haram, ISIS or any other criminal element.”
It was also learnt that the system had greatly assisted security agencies to nip in the bud and also frustrate many terror plots and attacks across the country.

The security agencies had been using electronic trackers, which they were used to track and apprehend kidnappers.

But it was learnt that the electronic surveillance system is more effective and has better capacities to hack emails, passwords and social media accounts used by terrorists to recruit members.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, confirmed that security agencies were using a sophisticated surveillance system as part of measures to combat crime and terrorism in the country.
He said, “It is not a new technology. Everywhere in the world, it is used, including drones and other sophisticated equipment. Nigeria is part of the international community; we have our surveillance system, which shows that Nigeria is developing.”
Ojukwu said the security agencies respect the rights of Nigerians and were not using the system to hack the phones and computers of innocent Nigerians.

The Department of State Services could not be reached for information on their use of the surveillance system.

Punch NG

INTERVIEW: God saved my life from Orkar’s bullet ‘- IBB

Former military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida clocks 74 years this week. He spoke with reporters in his Hilltop residence, Minna, Niger State,

Congratulations on your 74th birthday. Some Nigerians say you are not from Niger State but from Ogbomoso. They even claimed that your middle name Badamasi was coined out of a Yoruba name- Gbadamosi. This is an opportunity for you to clear the air. Where is your root?

I had to answer this same question way back November 1962. I was in an interview with a Minister and some prominent Nigerians during my last year in secondary school. Somebody asked me the same question. First of all, I corrected the way it was spelt. 53 years after, I am glad answering the same question. The truth is, I hail from here – Niger State. My parents are from between Wushishi and this town (Minna). My grand-parents travelled to settle down here. So I think that says it all. But above all, there is nothing wrong from being from any part of the country but the truth is, I hail from Niger state. My parents and my great grand parents moved from somewhere and settled down here in Niger state. There are those who still call us settlers in Niger because our grand parents and great-grand-parents came from somewhere but I have lived all my 74 years in Niger state, I think I am more than qualified to be called an indigene of Niger state.

Recently, the United States of America advised that what our military need most is training and not equipment to fight Boko Haram. Is this an indictment or an advice to our military? As a former Military President and a professional, what is your view on this?
I must admit that a lot of us were trained in America and quite a sizable officers of the Nigeria Army were trained in America, so it is not anything new to talk about training because they knew they had trained people. I was trained in America, I was in a place called Portsmouth in Kenturkey where I did my senior officers course, so you can see that a lot of us were trained in America. where I did senior officer’s course. I was in Postgraduate School in United States where I did senior officers Management course I was a Brigadier that time so a lot of us were trained in America. They are right. There is an old saying that it is not the sophisticated weapons we have but the mind behind the weapon. I appreciate what they are trying to do. They have lots of experiences since after the Second World War, they have been involved in stability operations and support of countries which have gone into agreement, so I expect that they should talk about training.

Are you satisfied with the present steps being taken by the present administration to fight the Boko Haram? (cuts in sharply).
Yeah! They (Boko Haram) have to be fought I think the renewed efforts and steps taken by the Federal Government are commendable.

Towards the last days of the former President Jonathan, the insurgents seem to have been overwhelmed because we were almost celebrating but suddenly, they have staged a come-back and becoming more fierce in their attacks. Sir, what did Jonathan do that President Buhari: is not doing or doing wrongly that has brought these people back.

I think there is a general misunderstanding of the whole concept of insurgency, you can call it anything, instabiliy or terrorism. We are not fighting a regular army where you can confront them with sheer use of force and weapons to overwhelm the enemy, no, we have gotten a small trained army whose tactics was to inflict maximum casualty on his so-called enemy, inflict casualty on him when and where he least expects it.

The army is not fighting a conventional war, that makes it exceptionally difficult, they blow outbridges, the go as far as blowing up barracks, this is an unconvetional war. I tnink the soldiers are trained for it and they know this is the sort of thing they do. I think the public should be educated about this unconventional war.

Sir, cast your mind 25 years ago when your friend, Gideon Orkar planned to terminate your life, today, you are celebrating your 74th birthday, how do you feel that in the last 25 years, despite attempts to eliminate your life?
I will continue to remain grateful to God. The incident strengthens my belief that no matter what happens, if God doesn’t will it, nothing will happen to you. So it is a matter of believing that no matter what happens, either good or bad, nothing happens without the approval of Allah. I am grateful to God for sparing my life up to this time despite what we went through. Those of us who participated in combat we say thank God. I did not die during the civil war in 1969 which was some 21 years before the 1990 direct attempt on my life. God has kept me going, so I am very grateful, God has kept me and I remain grateful to Him and grateful to you all for your support.

So, how did you escape the Okar’s bullet?
(Adjust seat with calm and ponder for awhile) I can remember fairly well, I had some loyal officers who are supposed to be my protectors and my body guards. Initially they told me to leave but I told them no, I am not leaving for anywhere but they remained stubborn and later I took my family outside Dodan barracks and joined my guards. So we went out of Dodan barracks and we went to a safe house where we got in contact with loyal troops. May God bless Sani Abacha. Sani Abacha was the Chief of Army Staff, he got in touch with me, I got in touch with him and we sat down and talk on what we were going to do. Abacha and I rallied round the loyal troops and then I left my state house and joined Abacha in his house. (Pause) That is what happened.

The general belief is that the country is blessed with Elders, like you, who are in a position to advice leaders in authority and safe the country from the present mess. Is it that you don’t reach out to government or are such advices not heeded.
I think one of the most unique thing in Nigeria is that this is the one African country that Is specially blessed. There are about seven of us (former leaders) alive today and everyone of us have had his experience in one way or the other but the other good thing is that there is a forum where we all meet the current leadership, chat with him, talk about the situation in the country discuss and offer solutions to any problem confronting us. All of us are always free, we are very accessible to government, so we can either put across either in writing or talking.

Does it then mean that your advice are not heeded for us to find ourselves in this precarious situation.

Which precarious situation?.
Things and times are hard for the masses…

Like what? Where are you from?
Do you travel with escorts? I think these are the challenges every government face and every government will face. The people and the government must come together. People should support the government and government too should come up with solutions to ameliorate the problem that every government face.

So, what is your assessment about the performance of the present administration so far?
That wouldn’t be fair. The government is still new. However, so far, I am confident that they are doing well, they have identified the problems and they look resolute in confronting these problems head-on and there are a lot of people in the society who are offering a lot of sound advice on how to move the country forwards and are not relenting.

No doubt, there are many challenges facing this country and in your candid opinion, what are the key areas you want the present leadership to tackle in order to forge ahead.
I must commend the present leadership for identifying even before and after the election some of the problems facing this country. Number one, it has to do with security and the President talked about it extensively. The security of lives and property, the security of the state, the security of this environment called Nigeria has been identified. And the second one has to do of course with the way we live, the way we walk and the way we behave, Corruption. The third one has to do with the economic development of the country. We should support the President towards achieving these objectives of ensuring security and wiping out corruption.

Still on corruption, President Buhari has launched strategy to recover some stolen funds. What is your take on this?
During the tenure of my boss, President Obasanjo he had a similar strategy and to be fair to him he made a lot of recoveries. So we should support what this present government is trying to do to achieve the same objective.

So far, do you think the strategy can achieve the set goal, bearing in mind the circumstance we have found ourselves.
If it is pursued resolutely, I believe it will achieve some degrees of successes especially with those who are stolen our oil.

To tackle the insurgency in the country, the present administration agreed to dialogue with the leaders. What is your take? Is it a welcome development?
The President have got it right, he said he will talk to people who are credible who have been identified as some of the leaders of the insurgency but so far, apart fronm one or two names, we do not hear any other name. I don’t think the government will like to talk to a vacuum, to talk to people who are not worth talking to as far as this issues are concerned. So the government is right of being careful to identify and talk if there is anything to talk about.

How do you feel as a top member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a party that was in power for so long and now in opposition? Do you see your party bouncing back in 2019?
I think one of the good things we are experiencing in this country is that for 16 years there has been democracy and in democratic practices, a lot of things must have gone wrong somewhere and the right judges are the people and the people have spoken. I think it is natural they needed a change after 16 years and they did what is right, they did not go wild, they did not fight anybody, they used their ballot papers to change the government. I think this is the beauty of what happened, I look forward to such practices in the next 50 years of democratic practice in this country.

So, do you still see the party bounce back?
Don’t forget politics is what is happening now. They (PDP) will try and I hope they have learnt from their mistakes, what they did wrong, what they did right and what they can do now to re-launch their party.

How will you rate the role of the media in the just concluded general elections?
I think the media has been fair that is my rating. Very unusual but you are fair. You didn’t show or play partisanship, you saw and said it the way it was. I have seen the media during a lot of other elections but this particular one you were very, very fair. And I hope that will be the trend.

Hope you are not missing your friend – Chief M.K.O Abiola? (cuts in)
Let me see. Last week, I brought out a letter he wrote to me and I read it. That shows we are still spiritually connected. I am missing him

What was the content of the letter?
Do you ever reveal such content?

What is your favourite meal sir.
Favourite meal? I eat anything. I eat anything legal. I don’t eat anything forbidding by my religion. For example, I don’t eat Pork. So, give me anything besides these especially cereals carbohydrate e.t.c, I will eat very well.
Sir let’s talk Sports. Your political god-son and former Abia State governor is being dragged into FIFA Presidency… (cuts in)
I will vote for him. If he makes a very good outing, talking about his interest in sports especially football. The Enyimba, if you can still recall that he eventually brought them out, he is very interested in soccer and if he is that recognised outside this country, I dont think there is anything wrong in trying his best to be recognised in the world. That is why I said if I have a voting right, I will vote for him.

REPORT: U.S Indicts Buhari’s Associates In Stolen $150bn

Secretary John Kerry meets Buhari and His Campaign Team before the election 

President Muhammadu Buhari is in a dilemma over what to do with key members of his defunct campaign council who are allegedly neck deep in the stolen $150 billion stashed in foreign bank accounts.

Buhari has enlisted the United States to help recover funds stolen during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“The fact that I now seek [U.S. President Barack] Obama’s assistance in locating and returning $150 billion in funds stolen in the past decade and held in foreign bank accounts on behalf of former corrupt officials is testament to how badly Nigeria has been run.

“This way of conducting our affairs cannot continue,” Buhari said in an article he published in Washington Post on July 20
Investigation showed that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Federal Reserves Bank (equivalent of Central Bank of Nigeria), have put faces to the staggering sums lodged in safe offshore accounts.

But against the hunch in the Buhari camp that only Jonathan’s henchmen were involved in the loot, the FBI and other America spy agents listed names of close associates of Buhari, some of who funded his election.

Buhari has also disclosed that the U.S., which is helping with the investigation, has traced various accounts where loots are lodged.

He made the disclosure in Abuja when he hosted American lawmakers who visited Nigeria last week. But he did not name the account holders.

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has claimed that members of Buhari’s delegation to the U.S., which he was part of, were told that a minister under Jonathan stole $6 billion.
His words: “The PDP destroyed the country. I mean from the lips of American officials; senior officials of the State Department said one minister under PDP cornered as much as $6 billion.
“The man said even by Washington standard that is earth-quaking.
“So, the PDP is a party that presided over the liquidation of our nation, destroyed all our institutions, converted the Armed Forces commanders to use them as if they were political thugs, converted NTA (Nigerian Television Authority) to a party megaphone, destroyed the SSS (State Security Services), went after the opposition as if we were rabbits to be pursued into our holes, compromised even student unions and destroyed everything that you can think of and elevated religion to a state affair.

“Under the party, Israel became a place you visit every week; they placed pastors against mallams, placed North against South, East against West just to retain power; elevated obas and obis with dollars.

“You guys were reporting dollars that were changing hands; when the NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) was spending much more money than is available to the Federation Account.

“We are a very patient people. If we were not a patient people, anybody wearing the tag of PDP ought to feel very unsafe because you are all victims – all of us here.”
But disclosure from the U.S. showed that the looting involved many APC governors, past and present, and the majority of them are from the North.
“The information available to Buhari highlighted persons who were involved and what they owned across parties. A substantial number of the looters are governors from the North.

“Buhari is in a dilemma on what to do with them because he profited from their money during his election,” a source told TheNiche.
Washington is mounting pressure on Buhari not to spare anyone involved in the loot from prosecution once the government assembles all the evidence.

It said that would be a way for the two countries to strengthen diplomatic ties. “President Barack Obama has long seen Nigeria as arguably the most important strategic country in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The question is, would there be an opportunity to deepen our engagement and that opportunity is now,’’ U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, told reporters during Buhari’s visit to the U.S. last month.
As a first measure, Aso Rock has directed security agencies to keep an eye on all former governors and former ministers who served under Jonathan and many of his aides.

However, Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, told TheNiche that he is not aware of such a directive.

Sources in the security network confirmed that foreign travel by former governors, especially those of the PDP, have been restricted.

TheNiche learnt that certain embassies have been notified about the former governors and ministers who want to leave the country, using their diplomatic passports that have a life span of five years.

However, an immigration chief told this newspaper on Friday, August 17 that there is not much the Immigration Service can do to stop the former governors and ministers from escaping, going by the porous state of the country’s borders.
“They can always escape through Cotonou and Dubai,” he said.
Many former governors are in the country, and some of them are being interrogated or prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, was in transit when TheNiche tried to get his reaction to the story. We could not get his comment due to poor telecommunication service.

The Leak Times

Nigeria: Police arrest Aregbesola’s aide over girlfriend’s death


A Special Adviser to Osun State Governor, Mr Bode Olugbore, has been arrested by the police over the death of his girlfriend, Miss Kemi Arobieke.

Our correspondent gathered that Kemi, a graduate of the Lagos State University, visited Bode in Osogbo, the Osun State capital on Thursday, August 6, all the way from Lagos and promised to return on Saturday.

The deceased’s elder brother, Ayo, who confirmed the death of his sister to our correspondent on the telephone on Tuesday, said Kemi had known Olugbore for about four years, but the family did not know about their relationship.

The brother of the deceased said he, Kemi and Bode were members of the same church in Lagos adding that her sister said the suspect had been separated from his wife.

He said, “My sister travelled to Osogbo and she was supposed to return to Lagos on Saturday, but we got a call from the police that she was involved in an accident and it was very serious.
“We got to Osogbo but the police prevented us from seeing her only to be told that she was electrocuted. She was said to have been electrocuted by a Binatone fan, but it is unbelievable.

“The current in a fan is not enough to kill, except one has direct contact with a live wire. The mark on her body suggests something contrary.”
He said he saw Bode at the State Criminal Investigation Department on two occasions he went to the place.

The deceased’s brother said the police had done the autopsy, but the family was still waiting for the police to give them the result.
He said, ” We were told that Bode’s family will have to be present before they would give us the result.”
The governor’s media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, when contacted declined to comment on the matter.

He said, ” It’s a police matter. You can get accurate information about whatever happened from the police.”

Also, efforts to speak to the Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs Folasade Odoro, proved abortive on the matter as calls put across to her telephone were picked but she refused to talk.

After many calls to her other telephone, a male voice answered the call and told our correspondent that the PPRO was not in the office but left her phone for charging. He promised that the PPRO would call back when she returned, but she did not.

Also, a text message sent to inquire about the case was not replied to as of the time of filing this report.

Punch NG

ANALYSIS: How the next Ooni of Ife will emerge, By Peter Ogunleye

Having put behind us the havoc done by the social media to the traditional procedure for announcing the departure of the occupant of the most revered stool in the Yoruba race, it is no longer news that Alayeluwa Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II, has not only joined his ancestors, he has indeed been interred with grandeur and majesty.

Inevitably, there have been speculations about potential successors to the revered throne – and the lists keep getting longer by the day. And, why not? The status of the Ooni in not just Yorubaland but nationally and internationally is such as to attract attention.

Even fellow royal fathers acknowledge the leadership of the occupant of the throne of Oduduwa. The position carries authority, influence and power. No matter the level of affluence attained by a potential Ooni before ascending the throne, the authority of the throne transforms him to another level of influence, status and power.

The reign of Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II has probably compounded the challenge for potential successors given the magnitude of his influence and the authority he wielded while sitting on the stool of Oduduwa.

It is inevitable that potential successors would make their claim to the throne because it is most probably a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity for anyone. If a particular potential successor misses it now, it is hardly conceivable that he would be alive again when the throne would be vacant for his family to put forward nominations. The late Oba Adesoji Aderemi from the Oshinkola family reigned for 50 years and his successor on the throne reigned for 35 years. So, it has been 85 years since whoever contested with the Atobatele would have been waiting. And he still has only God knows how many years left since the Giesi and Lafogido ruling families would have to produce the next two occupants in that order. So, if someone should miss his turn, it’s bye-bye for life!

Thus, with the large number of claimants and potential candidates being bandied about especially in the print media, it is just appropriate to ask: Who can ascend the throne of the Ooni?

Since the reign of Lajamisan as the Ooni of Ife over 500 years ago, the crown of Ife has remained in his family through his son Lajodoogun. With the expansion of his descendants through the emergence of new sub-families, the number of ruling houses with the right to provide candidates for the throne continued to be fluid for some time but has crystallised into four major lines, representing the four major quarters of the ancient town. These are: (1) Oshinkola House of Iremo (2) Giesi House of Moore (3) Ogboru House of Ilare and (4) Lafogido House of Okerewe. Anyone seeking to occupy the throne must have some form of affiliation to these ruling houses. Even though there are other chieftaincy and ruling houses for various quarters, the throne of Ooni is reserved for the descendants of the named ruling houses.

The history of the ancient town suggests that rulership of the town has passed through various stages with the modern phase seeing the incorporation of the autochthonous ruling families of the various primordial communities into leadership positions including king-making roles.

The Oduduwa phase of the rulership of Ife produced a fairly respectable number of rulers. Following the reign of Lajamisan and Lajodoogun and the crystallisation of the ruling families into four, the following have been established as past rulers:

1. From the Lafogido Ruling House: Lafogido, Dejinle, Olojo (Agbele), Osinlade (Otutu), Akinmoyero (Odunle), Wunmonije, Adegunle (Abewela) and Ademiluyi (Ajagun) – eight rulers;

2. From the Oshinkola Branch: Osinkola, Aribiwoso, Ojigidiri (Lanibuwa), Kola (Oni-elect) and Aderemi (Atobatele) – five but only four substantive as Kola died before he could formally ascend the throne.

3. From the Ogboru Branch: Ogboru, Gbanlare, Adelekan (Olubuse), and Okunade Sijuwade (Olubuse II) – four rulers.

4. From the Giesi Branch: Giesi, Agbedegbede, Ajila-Oorun, Gbegbaaje, Degbin (Kumbusu), Orayigba (Ojaja) and Derin Ologbenla – seven rulers.

Membership of a royal family carries with it an inevitable aura of pre-eminence. The modern day descendants of the four ruling houses noted immediately above have named among them several prominent families from which the Ooni could be selected when it is their turn.

The prominent ruling families in the ruling houses include the Aderemis, Adewuyis, Adesanyas and Adeyemos among others in the Oshinkola Ruling House; the Sijuwades, Adefarakans and Mogaji Durojayes among others in the Ogboru Ruling House; the Ogunleyes, Adepegbas, Ologbenlas, Ademakinwas, Adewumis, Adejobas, Adewoyins, Olafares, Ogunwusis and Adegunjus among others in the Giesi Ruling House; and the Ademiluyis, Adeyebas, Adeyinkas, Otutu and Adenijis among others in the Lafogido Ruling House.

From these families come several of the who-is-who in this country, individuals prominent in the various professions and many of whom are barons and captains of industry. Indeed, Ile-Ife is blessed.

We may ask at this stage: How is an Ooni selected? The Ooni is chosen from the royal patrilineal clan. The position is hereditary but like many titles of priest and chiefs, which are owned by particular clans, it does not pass from father to son. Indeed, it cannot pass from father to son given the fact that the stool rotates among four major royal families. Males of the four lineages of the royal crown are eligible to become kings in rotation, but a lineage can be skipped if the family is unable to present suitable candidates for the throne.

According to the Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957, the normal successor to the Ife chieftaincy is through the male line of the ruling house whose turn it is to present candidate but successor can devolve to the female line “if none of the candidates presented through the male line of the ruling house concerned is suitable and if the candidate presented through the female line possesses the necessary qualification and is acceptable to the kingmakers.”

In the event of the candidate presented from the female line also being found unacceptable, “selection is made from the family of the next ruling house”.

Wealth is not an essential qualification for an aspirant to be considered suitable for the throne as the main objective is to select the best candidate. The qualities considered as most important are integrity, generosity, humility and willingness to listen to advice and take counsel.

Gender is also an important qualification for the throne as only male contenders are eligible – even if consideration is being given to candidates from the female side of the lineage. Seniority is also not a factor although the candidate must be at least about 30 years old at the time of ascending the throne and he should be married. Neither is education a prescribed qualification although during the last two selections, education has emerged as a major factor for consideration of who ascends the throne.

You may wish to ask: how does the family whose turn it is presents its candidate?

According to the chieftaincy declaration, the family whose turn it is to present a candidate is to be invited in writing by the appropriate government authority, writing through the Ife Traditional Council, to present their candidate or candidates from among whom the kingmakers shall select the most suitable person.

At this stage the ruling House would select its candidate or candidates for the consideration of kingmakers. The candidate(s) is then presented to the Obalufe and the Lowa. If the decision of the ruling house is not unanimous and one or more candidates are presented, the decision is made by the Obalufe in consultation with the Chiefs on the Right (the Outer chiefs) and the Lowa in consultation with the Chiefs of the Left (the inner Chiefs). After the candidate is selected, he is then presented to the State Government for ratification and approval under the Chieftaincy Laws.

From the above, the process of selection and who is eligible to vie for the throne of the ancient town of Ife is a fairly settled matter. The chieftaincy declaration has established a pattern of rotation among the four houses with Oshinkola, Ogboru, Giesi and Lafogido. According to the Gazetted Declaration, the ruling house whose turn it is to produce the next Ooni is the Giesi Ruling Family. The order of rotation above must be observed.

Rumours has it that the order of successor was altered in 1976 as the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration had established the order of succession as Oshinkola – Giesi – Ogboru – Lafogido. The revision had seen the Ogboru jumping over the Giesi, a situation that permitted Oba Sijuwade to ascend the throne at the time he did. The most recent approved version has the succession order as Oshinkola – Ogboru – Giesi – Lafogido.

In concluding this write up, it is safe to reflect a little on the Giesi Ruling Family whose turn it is to produce the next occupant of the throne of Oduduwa in Ile-Ife. History tells us that all the Oonis from Giesi Ruling house were noted for their efforts to protect the kingdom and ensure prosperity for the people. Agbedegbede who succeeded Giesi, his father, extended the boundaries of Ife far and wide and the boundary is reputed to extend up to Apomu and Ikire. He was also known to have built walls around Ife for protection. Some of such walls were the Isoya and Moore walls, relics of which are still standing till date.

Like his father, Giesi, Agbedegbede had a long and peaceful reign. Agbedegbede, also like the first two from his royal lineage, might be said to have depended on wars of conquest as a means of acquiring wealth, but he also depended on farming. History also tells us that Agbedegbede had four children namely, Gbegba-aje, Ajila, Adesunmakin and Sooko Ogbagodo. Although Adesunmakin never reigned his children Kumbusu and Derin Ologbenla reigned as Ooni, his grandson Orayigba Ojaja also ruled.

Gbegba-aje, one of the successors, was one proof that wealth, possessions and influence had no bearing to ascending the throne of Ife, as the man was reputed to be poor but struck it rich as he was believed to have “picked up the calabash of prosperity”, the source of his cognomen – Gbegba-Aje. Ultimately, he was reputed to be the richest monarch emerging from the Giesi royal line. As king, he encouraged the production of Segi beads, which was in fashion and abundant during this period, this was later sold to the people at reduced rate.

Gbegba-Aje was also reputed to be a very brave hunter and warrior before ascending to the throne of Ooni. In his time, wars were used as a means of trade, and he took part in the execution of many wars for money and in the interest of Ile-Ife. He was said to have lived very long and had peaceful and successful reign.

Thus, modern day members of the Giesi ruling family are descendants of a very rich and proud history. The world awaits their nominee who will ascend the throne of Oduduwa, the person who would be crowned the next Ooni of Ife. History beckons.

Mr. Ogunleye, a prince and lawyer, is of the Giesi ruling House.

Source: PT

Fashola vs Tinubu: APC leaders shun Fashola’s book launch

The chilled political relationship between the two immediate past governors of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Mr. Babatunde Fashola came to fore Tuesday as the launch of three books on Fashola was boycotted by the political class.

However, a testimony to Fashola’s credentials among the technocrats was evident as the occasion had a surplus of technocrats from various sectors of the society.

From left:Olori Titilola Akiolu, Mr. Dapo Adeniyi, Co-Author, Mr. Hakeem Bello, Special Adviser on medial to Mr. Babatunde Fashola, former governor of Lagos, and Authors of the Book, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Guest Honour, Justice Funmilayo Atilade, Chief Judge of Lagos state, Alhaja Lateefah Okunnun, former deputy governor of Lagos state, Hon. Gbenga Makanjuola, Chief of staff to Senate president and representing the senate president and Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Ogun state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, representing Governor of Ogun state, during the Presentation of Three New titles Books, The Great Leap, In Bold Print and The Lagos Blow Dawn in the Honour of Mr. Babatunde Fashola, former governor of Lagos state by Hakeem Bello, at Mosum centre, Lagos Island. on. 18/08/2015. Photo: Bunmi Azeez

The anxiety that preceded Tuesday’s book launch was aptly echoed by the chairman of the ceremony, Mr. Fola Adeola who said that only very brave people were bold enough to come for the ceremony.

Nevertheless, the ceremony was thronged by dignitaries from the various professions outside the political realm. The notable political players present were immediate political associates of the former governor including, former governorship aspirant Mr. Supo Sashore, former deputy Governor, Alhaja Lateefat Okunnu, former Commissioner for finance in Lagos state, Mr Wale Edun, former Senator Munirudeen Muse.

Others are Chief Judge of Lagos state, Justice Funmilayo Atilade, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Mr Gbenga Makanjuola, Professor Tunde Samuel who represented the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Mr Lanre Babalola, Jide Sanwolu, Rotimi Oyeko among others.

Speaking at the event, former Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr Fola Adeola said he considered those who attended as those who have the interest of the former Governor of Lagos at heart.

Adeola hails attendees for bravery
According to him, “I believe everybody that came here today considers Fashola as a friend, brother, cousin, so I greet everyone and welcome them here. I will also say some people are here just because they are brave and not afraid. I believe in fullness of time, everything evolves and dissolves, things come and go. Fashola, SAN and a former Governor is now the only thing that will remain constant and the people who are here today are simply telling him that no matter what, they still remained his friend”.

See What Britain's Prime Minister Was Caught Doing On The Plane

Teenager snaps 'man of the people' David Cameron eating Pringles on an Easyjet flight

Girl describes seeing the Prime Minister munching his way through a tube of paprika-flavoured Pringles as 'humbling'

You might imagine David Cameron would prefer social media was abuzz with talk of his government policies.

Instead, the Prime Minister has gone 'viral' for an altogether more mundane reason: eating Pringles - and on an EasyJet flight, no less.

A teenager who was on the same Portugal-bound economy flight as Mr Cameron could barely contain her excitement when she saw him tucking in to the paprika-flavoured snacks.

She snapped a sneaky selfie and shot a video before uploading the evidence to her Twitter account.

Politics: Why Alaibe, Lokpobiri, Inokoba, others defected – Dickson

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has lambasted those who defected from the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last Saturday, saying they are greedy and selfish politicians.

Gov Seriake Dickson

Dickson, who spoke in Abuja on the sideline of the National Security Summit 2015 organized by the Nigeria Police Force, in conjunction with The Sun Publishing Limited, publishers of The Sun titles, according to a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso Markson, Monday night said the defectors did so only for greed and selfish reasons.

He pointed out that, while it was their right to decamp, it was important for the public to know why they decamped to the APC, stressing that, they decamped because each one of them wants to be the governor and the PDP platform is not available for them to pursue the ambitions.
“So, they are going to the next alternative, and which in the case of the APC, is the party that has control of the center and by so doing, positioning themselves for federal appointments, which the PDP and I are not in a position to give to them.

“And they are hoping somehow that federal might, by way of security and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) manipulation, will see their eventual flagbearer into the government house, which is not going to be the case,” Dickson remarked.
He noted that, is firmly on the ground in the state, adding that, Bayelsans are of the view that his administration has done well and on the election day, they will turn out enmasse and vote for him and the PDP.
Dickson added: “We know the antecedents of each and every one of them and we are confident that the people are not with them.”
Governor Dickson expressed confidence over his chances of being re-elected, stating that, having done well in delivering the dividends of democracy to the people, he was sure of getting re-elected for a second term in office.
According to Dickson, “I am sure. That is a PDP state and I have done well. It is not me saying it, it is the people of Bayelsa that are saying it. And they know them. So, let’s wait to see who their flagbearer would be against me,” Dickson concluded.


Nigeria: My $1bn China-Exim Bank story, by Okonjo - Okonjo Iweala

The immediate past Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has denied that the China-EximBank loan for the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Kano rail line was diverted as alleged by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Alhaji Muhanned Bashar.


Alhaji Bashar had told President Muhammadu Buhari during the ministry’s briefing session, last week, that only $400 million of the $ 1 billion China-EximBank loan meant for the project was spent, creating the impression that over $600 million was diverted by the last administration.

According to him, only $400 million was released by the Ministry of Finance for the project.

However, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said, yesterday, that the Permanent Secretary did not get his facts right, as there was no such $1 billion China-EximBank loan for the Lagos-Kano rail project, in the first place.

She gave details of the China-EximBank loans for various projects in the country through a statement by her Media Adviser, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, and insisted that the Lagos-Kano rail project was not one of them.

According to the minister, a total of $2.084 billion was secured from the Chinese bank and that the facilities were being managed directly by the bank which disburses the funds directly to the Chinese contractors, based on certificates of work done.

The breakdown
The breakdown showed that $500 million was for the on-going expansion of four international airport terminals in Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port-Harcourt.; $500 million for the Abuja Light Rail Project; $984 million for the Zungeru hydroelectric power project; and $100 million for the Galaxy Backbone project.

The statement read in part: “I want to state categorically that there is no truth in the reported allegation. Anyone who is interested can cross-check with the China-EximBank or the Chinese Embassy.
“It is noteworthy that even though President Buhari, in his reported comments on the allegation, made no reference to Dr. Okonjo-Iweala but rightly stressed the need for due process and transparency in the execution of public projects, a sponsored media campaign has once again been launched by political elements to make the former minister the culprit in a non-existent scandal.

“The alleged diversion has no substance for the simple reason that the Kano-Lagos project was not even among the projects presented for funding by the China Exim Bank for several strategic infrastructural projects across the country.

“In fact, it was the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, not Lagos-Kano rail project, that was proposed in the original application to the China-EximBank. But in the end, no funds were assigned for the Lagos-Ibadan rail project by the China-EximBank.

“It is also important to note that even if the alleged project was on the list of China-EximBank funded projects, diversion of any Chinese funds would have been extremely difficult because the terms of the contract and the processes would simply not have permitted such action.

“The procedure is that funds for approved loans remain in the China-EximBank and are released directly to the Chinese firm executing the contract only after the presentation of duly certified proof of work by the responsible ministry, in this case it would have been the Federal Ministry of Transport, based on the agreed milestones.

“For the sake of emphasis, the China-EximBank does not disburse money directly to government and, therefore, the issue of diversion does not arise.

“This is yet another example of the kind of whispering campaign of calumny, innuendo, misinformation, and outright distortions being perpetrated by certain political elements against Dr. Okonjo-Iweala in a bid to try to damage her reputation.”

Vanguard News

Nigeria Politics||Opinion: Of Buhari’s cold feet over asset declaration

President Muhammadu Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari shocked many Nigerians last October when he announced that he took a loan of N27.5m to buy the All Progressives Congress’ expression of interest and nomination forms for the 2014 presidential primary.

The act endeared the Katsina-born general to many who saw his stance as a departure from the profligacy which characterised the campaign of some of his opponents. It also gave him an edge over his co-contestants in the party who included the then Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso; a former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar; Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and the publisher of Leadership newspapers, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah.

While also delivering his speech shortly before delegates voted at the APC presidential primary which held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Lagos, last December, Buhari said, “I have always served Nigeria to the best of my ability. I have always tried to give more to the nation than it has given me. This is the principle of service that has guided my public life. Thus, I am not a rich person.
“I can’t give you a pocketful of dollars or naira to purchase your support. Even if I could, I would not do so. The fate of this nation is not up for sale. What I will give you and this nation is all of my strength, commitment, sweat and toil in the service of the people. What I can give you is my all.”
Buhari maintained that he was the only former Head of State that does not have a house in Abuja despite also being a former petroleum minister and former military governor.

This emotional speech inspired many of the delegates at the jam-packed stadium, causing Buhari to win convincingly as the number of votes he garnered surpassed those of others combined. Buhari polled 3,430 votes while Kwankwaso, who came second, scored 974 votes. Former vice-president Abubakar got 954 votes to occupy the third position.

In his three months of campaign, posters of ‘Sai Buhari’ and ‘Sai mai Gaskiya’ meaning “an honest person,” and “tested and trusted” adorned major cities in Nigeria.

At the climax of the presidential campaign, Buhari stated that he would publicly declare his assets and liabilities, if voted into power.

Buhari stated this in a document which highlights what he would do in his first 100 days in office. He said he would encourage political appointees in his administration to also declare their assets publicly.

Buhari, in the document titled, “I pledge to Nigeria,” also said that all his political appointees would only earn salaries and allowances as prescribed by the Revenue and Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission.
He said, “I pledge to publicly declare my assets and liabilities, encourage all my appointees to publicity declare their assets and liabilities as a pre-condition for appointment. “All political appointees will only earn the salaries and allowances determined by the RMFAC.”
The promise again gave Buhari an electoral boost because the late President Umaru Yar’Adua was the first and the only Nigerian President to have publicly declared his assets when he assumed office.

Buhari’s promise also threatened the chances of the then President, Goodluck Jonathan, who had said during a live media chat that he did not give a damn about public declaration of assets.

Jonathan, when asked why he had refused to publicly declare his assets as an example for members of his cabinet, said, “The issue of public asset declaration is a matter of personal principle. That is the way I see it, and I don’t give a damn about it, even if you criticise me from heaven.”

However, many Nigerians were shocked when after being inaugurated as the President, Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, declared their assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau as required by the constitution but failed to make the contents public as promised.

The development has even been compounded by the fact that 80 days after Buhari and Osinbajo took over, they have not commenced the process of having the CCB verify details of their declared assets.

The Chairman of the CCB, Sam Saba, said the bureau was prepared to commence the verification of assets declared by the president and the vice-president, but said the CCB was awaiting a convenient time for the two leaders to carry out the exercise.

He said a conference verification which involves the examination of the particulars of an asset and the field verification which requires physical validation of a listed property had yet to be done.
He said, “For instance, if you say you have three vehicles, let us see the registration numbers. We don’t have to see all the details. “Once we are able to see the receipts of the purchase of the vehicles or the registration documents, we are satisfied. But we still have to see them physically and that is the second stage which we call field verification.”
The possibility of Buhari declaring his assets publicly might have further dimmed as his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, has said Buhari never promised to make his assets public. He said rather, it was the APC that made the promise during the campaign.

While speaking with a social commentator, Kayode Ogundamisi, during an interview, Adesina said, 
“You need to get his words right. Go and check all that the President said during the campaign. In no place would you see it attributed to him as a person.

“But then there is a document by his party, the APC, saying he would declare publicly. So, we need to set that right; it was a declaration by his party. The law requires public officers to declare their assets and he has done that.”
“But then there is a document by his party, the APC, saying he would declare publicly. So, we need to set that right; it was a declaration by his party. The law requires public officers to declare their assets and he has done that.”
Adesina added that after the CCB had verified the assets, Buhari could choose to make it public or not.

The Nigerian constitution states in Chapter VI , Section 140, that a person elected to the Office of the President shall not begin to perform the functions of that office until he has declared his assets and liabilities as prescribed in the constitution.

Although Buhari has committed no crime by failing to declare his assets publicly, many see it as a betrayal of trust as well as a setback in his ferocious war against corruption.

Also, separating the promises Buhari made from those his party made during the electioneering seems to be an ominous sign of what to expect of APC’s promises such as free meals for pupils, allowance for unemployed youths and N5, 000 for every poor family.

A civil society group, Stop Impunity Nigeria, invoking the Freedom of Information Act, applied to the CCB to request copies of the completed assets declaration forms by Buhari and Osinbajo.

However, the CCB declined the request. The CCB cited the absence of a prescribed law by the National Assembly authorising the release of such information to the public, thereby making it impossible for anyone to know Buhari’s assets.

Responding to the development, the Socio-Economic Right Accountability Project, argued that the declaration before the CCB alone fell short of the commitment to publicly declare assets.

The group said Buhari’s public declaration of assets would boost his fight against corruption.

The Executive Director, SERAP, Mr. Adetokunbo Mumuni, said, “SERAP recalls that the President had said before the election that he would publicly declare his assets and liabilities, and encourage all his appointees to publicly declare their assets and liabilities as a pre-condition for appointment.
“Public disclosure of assets will give the general public a true picture of the assets of the President and the Vice-President and will send a powerful message that it is not going to be business as usual with this government.
“This will also follow the best practice by former President Umaru Yar’Adua, boost this government’s fight against corruption and impunity.’’
SERAP stated that public disclosure of assets provided a baseline and means of assets to identify assets that might have been corruptly acquired and for which a public official might legitimately be asked to account for.

SERAP also “urged the President to urgently take measures to seek amendment to the law relating to declaration of assets to include the requirement of public disclosure so as to bring it in line with international standards and best practices such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption.”

Another group, Civil Societies Legislative and Advocacy Centre, said Nigerians were requesting that the president and the vice-president make public their asset declarations to increase transparency.

Its Executive Director, Awual Musa, said even though the two top government functionaries had fulfilled the constitutional requirement of submitting their asset declaration forms, they needed to take it a step further by making it public.
“What Nigerians are saying now is that making it public will take it a step further because when they make their declaration public, other public officers will have no excuse not to follow suit."
Another human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, said that it was unfortunate that the assets were not made public.
“Government is run on trust and integrity; and this was one of the selling points for Buhari during his campaign when he made a solemn covenant with Nigerians. There is no reason to turn away from that path of honour which he has promised Nigerians,” he added.
According to Transparency International, most countries expect their top leaders to publish information about their assets. “When they don’t, or if the figures don’t seem to add up as it is happening in both Argentina and Nigeria, this can lead to both public unrest and political instability.”

The organisation noted that the United States’ approach to asset declarations is often considered a model because it is both comprehensive and transparent. Although there is no requirement to audit declarations in the US, they are available to the civil society on request.

As Buhari continues his raging war against corruption, Nigerians looking forward to September 7 when the 100-day deadline for the public declaration of his assets will lapse. Needless to say, Buhari’s public asset declaration will boost transparency and give credence to his anti-graft campaign. After all, he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.

Punch NG

Health: Top five travel tips for pregnant women

Planning a trip while pregnant? Whether it is an essential family visit, a critical business trip or just mind-clearing ‘babymoon’, the idea of travelling when you are pregnant can be frightening. How do you manage a plane or a strange hotel room when it is hard to get comfortable in your own bed?

The fact is, this period is one of the best times for you to get away and yourself as it is usually safe for women with low-risk pregnancies to travel as long as they prioritize their comfort and health while on the go.

Before you start squeezing your over-sized maternity wear into your carry-on however, read jovago.com tips for taking a trip when you are expecting.

Time it right
The best time to travel while pregnant is in the second trimester between 14 and 28 weeks – when medical emergencies related to pregnancy are least likely to occur and -for most women- morning sickness has lessened.

It is also a time when many moms-to-be have the greatest amount of energy and still feel comfortable doing normal activities. However, regardless of how you feel, ensure you consult with your doctor before setting out as women with higher-risk pregnancies may be discouraged from traveling. Most airlines and transport companies require a note from your doctor if your expected due date (EDD) is within 30 days.

Stay comfortable
It is important to do all you can to stay comfortable throughout the trip. Most important is your clothing. When you are pregnant, your body does not regulate its temperature quite as well as usual, be sure to pack a variety of clothing for your trip, and dress in layers.

Being able to easily put on or take off a cardigan or jacket will help keep you comfortable. Steer clear of strappy sandals; instead, choose soft fabric flats or slingbacks which are easy on the heels and comfortable for swollen feet than peep toes.

Remove jewelry before flying, be sure to give your feet room to stretch and try to get an aisle seat that is close to the front of the plane as a seat will make boarding and disembarking easier. Other little things to make you more comfortable include propping a small pillow behind your back, wearing loose clothing and checking in online to lower your chances of having to stand in line for a prolonged period of time.

Stay hydrated and eat wisely
With the limited amount of food available on the road or flight, it is important to make sure you carry nutritious, protein-packed snacks to keep you going.

Dried fruit, cereal bars, whole meal biscuits, mini-boxes of raisins and pre-cut carrots are other tasty, travel-friendly options to consider; this way you will always have something tasty on hand regardless of delays.

Be extra careful with your choice of food, pick fruits and vegetables with thick skin, wash them well, and make sure that the water is potable. If you are not sure about the safety of the water, avoid raw vegetables and fruit that you cannot peel yourself. Also, it is especially important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and nausea. Always carry a bottle with you and take sips throughout the day.

Stay safe and healthy
Pregnant or not, no one wants to be get sick when they are traveling. It is important to take certain precautions to reduce the risks of illness or an accident.

Always wear your seatbelt in cars or airplanes, wash your hands often as your immune system is weaker during pregnancy and so you are more susceptible to bacterial and virus which cause infections and diseases on the road, pack a tube of hand sanitizer for when there is no sink or soap nearby. Ensure you get your flu vaccine, and ensure you bring your identification, travel insurance documents, medical or maternity notes and a list of important contacts.

Finally, try your best to scale back your activities, use common sense and avoid anything strenuous.

You are pregnant, embrace it!
Let the world know you are pregnant, that way you can enjoy all the perks that come with it; including extra assistance with luggage, easy check-in and seat upgrade on your flight, extra pillows for your hotel room and many more.

Accept offered seats and opened doors, and do not be afraid to enjoy offers of help as they all add to making your trip comfortable. Try not to get embarrassed as well when you find people addressing your bump rather than your face as many people generally mean well and are excited for you.

The Nation

Exclusive: How Nigerian Governors Turned Government Houses Into Brothels

Akwa Ibom Government lodge

More than serving as a place to entertain and accommodate visitors of their respective state governments, many Government Guest Houses and Lodges have become grounds where all sorts of activities take place, especially epic lovemaking sessions, Saturday PUNCH’s investigations reveal.

The trend which has gone on for several years under different administrations usually involves young ladies being brought into such government facilities to ‘entertain’ guests sexually for a fee. While top aides of such state governors recruit such ladies directly for their guests, the job is given out to trusted middlemen in some places. Even though, it is an aberration in some states as governors frown at such practices, it is the norm across most parts of the federation.

In Rivers State for example, a source at the Government House in Port Harcourt told one of our correspondents that arranging beautiful ladies for special guests of the state is nothing unusual. According to the source who asked not to be named, this is part of the entertainment given to such high profile guests on request especially when the state is holding any big event.
“I have been here (Government House) for many years and I know that it is a common thing to bring in beautiful ladies for guests who demand for them,” the source said.
Another source, who is a former government official, told Saturday PUNCH that, “providing girls for special guests at government lodges is not a new thing. It is done everywhere. Most times, these girls are on standby and when they are called, they come and keep the guests (males) company. It is practised everywhere and not only here.”

Though in Osun State, Governor Rauf Aregbesola according to findings by one of our correspondents, is not open to such lifestyle, some former aides under him are known to pass women around and even entertain their guests with such. Osun has no government-owned guest house, so visitors are accommodated at some popular hotels in Osogbo, the state capital.

A source who confided in one of our correspondents disclosed that some former aides of the governor always “imported babes from tertiary institutions around and even from far distance.”
He said, “They pay these girls as high as N50, 000 especially those coming for the first time. Subsequently, they pay less and at times they don’t give the ladies more than N10, 000. These aides have some young male students who help in recruiting these girls for their superiors.”
The situation is a bit worse in Akwa Ibom State where a former governor is alleged to have wasted the state resources frolicking with different women with many of such ‘entertainments’ taking place right inside government-owned facilities. On several occasions, the aides to the governor were said to have arranged between five to 10 women to serve the governor at the same time.

An aide who refused to disclose his identity for security reason, told one of our correspondents that in one of the instances, one of the 10 ladies that were taken to him, developed a headache. According to him, the governor asked that the lady be taken away but not without receiving N500, 000 as ‘appearance fee.’

Apart from the former governor, Saturday PUNCH reliably gathered that some of his commissioners and special advisers built houses in remote areas for their flings in a bid to avoid being seen in hotels. The sources also claimed that some of the women got brand new jeeps for their services.

The governor’s siblings are not left out of the show, too. A source told our correspondent that the governor’s brothers on several occasions imported women from Egypt and other North African countries just to have a nice time. In addition to the government houses and lodges, the big boys in the administration and even visitors to the state also used a very popular hotel in the state as well as other hotels that spread across Uyo.

In Abia State, the recruitment of ladies otherwise known as ‘conference materials’ for the pleasure of top government officials is a very sensitive issue and is usually handled by a syndicate, a top official told one of our correspondents.

The source who pleaded anonymity revealed that the syndicates who handle such matters run it as a big business, maintaining a high degree of confidentiality to avoid embarrassing government. He however said no government lodge in Abia is used to habour such ladies. The source further noted that the practice was no longer in vogue in Abia State owing to the unfavourable dispositions of recent administrations.

According to the source, ‘conference materials’ are usually recruited from tertiary institutions, and could also be school dropouts as well as professionals who do ‘runs’ to survive. He said that such ladies usually drop their contacts with the agents who simply put them on notice any time they are needed.
He said, “Their pay is dependent on the category of government officials or guests they are to entertain and the class of the ladies themselves.
“If the benefiting government official is from the Presidency or is a governor, the fee is usually high but if it is an official with lesser portfolio, the pay is lesser,” he said.
The source also said that the ‘performance’ of the ‘conference material’ could make her get more incentives from the end user as some of them get cars, houses, contracts or more cash for good displays.

“Any ‘conference material’ who impresses her end user can be booked for future engagements. Some of them are even moved to USA, Europe, Dubai and some foreign countries ahead of government officials.
“The type of money involved in the movement of these ladies is awesome. Government officials who are in this habit of patronising ‘conference materials’ waste so much funds on them,” the source said
On the remuneration of the ladies, the source said, “The agent who recruits them disburses their pay depending on the arrangement.
“Some of the girls are paid N10, 000, some N20, 000, some N100, 000 and even N1m depending on the type of government official involved. Sometimes after assembling the girls, if any of them is not engaged, she is given a token like N10, 000 for transport. We call it ‘appearance fee’ or ‘thank you for coming package.’”
The source further said protocol officers are sometimes involved in the recruitment and movement of the ‘conference materials’ as very close aides of the government officials handle such ‘ jobs’ to avoid exposing their principals.
“What we do at such times is that when we get signals, we just allow the ladies to move on,” he said.
He, however, noted that not all governors condone the use of ‘conference materials’ and that during the administrations of such governors, the business does not thrive. The source also revealed that First Ladies are always ready to fall out with any protocol officer involved in recruiting ladies for their husbands because of the threat it poses to their families.

In Edo State, it was gathered that government guest houses built like private residences in strategic but less populous areas, like the Government Reservation Area in Benin, serve as a regular meeting point for government officials, their friends and a select group of ladies on regular basis.

A reliable source disclosed that some of the buildings have in the past 10 years served as meeting points for the highly-placed users. The ladies, who are mostly undergraduates of tertiary institutions in Edo, are usually transported from their hostels to the guest houses. But such movements, it was gathered, usually occurred at night to avoid attracting attention.

The source explained that the women receive between N10, 000 and N50, 000 or more for their services, depending on negotiations and the source of their connection.
“Entertaining guests with women is not new. That is a normal thing; it’s not peculiar to this state or the South-South. It is everywhere. The girls, who must be very attractive, are selected by special duty or protocol persons. They can earn up to N50, 000 based on their looks or connection.

“There are normal hotels and guest houses where rich men are supplied with girls during weekends but the major ones happen during political campaigns. The girls come in around 7:00pm or 9:00pm and leave as early as 4:00am,” the source said.
Investigations by one of our correspondents revealed that the large number of tertiary institutions in Enugu State serves as a reliable pool for protocol officers and governors’ personal assistants, whenever there is a need to provide young girls for their principals in the government house.

Enugu ranks as one of the states with the largest population of young girls in the country. It is home to several tertiary institutions like the Enugu State University of Technology, Institute of Management Technology, University of Nigeria, Enugu State College of Education, Caritas University, Godfrey Okoye University and Renaissance University, among others.

And, in an era where most female undergraduates combine their studies with ‘runs,’ or prostitution, it is not surprising that these protocol officers find it very easy to procure ladies for their bosses.

Sources at the government house informed one of our correspondents that so many girls have “made it” by associating with political office holders and their cronies since the current democratic dispensation commenced in 1999.

In fact, one of our correspondents learnt that these ‘runs girls’ go out of their way to cultivate the acquaintance of the protocol officers and Personal assistants of political office holders, who give out the “jobs.” It was gathered that most female students look forward to an “invitation” to attend any of the exclusive parties where the selected girls are passed around to the ‘big shots.’

According to a source, who is close to the corridors of power in the state, girls who participate in such activities are rewarded handsomely.
“These girls don’t take home anything less than N50, 000 just for a night, and that is when it is just a small party.
“In fact, the normal take home package for serious hook-ups ranges from N100, 000. The fee can even rise much higher when the girl is able to cultivate a personal relationship with the concerned patron. It is a known fact that from such casual acquaintance, some girls have been known to acquire choice property, cars, shops and even good jobs,” the source said
A former governor in the state is believed to have rewarded several young ladies with car gifts for their ‘intimate services,’ of course.

The source further explained that the protocol officers, and the PAs, usually establish contact with the young girls through ‘links,’ who are usually guys, or more experienced girls who have participated in such activities in the past. Such ‘links’ abound in most of the student residences, and hostels that litter the Coal City. The Government House source explained that the girls are usually camped in the more upscale hotels whenever the VIPs require their services.

In fact, according to the source, the protocol officers and PAs have established long standing business relationships with the managers of the concerned hotels, to the extent that rooms are reserved ahead of time, whenever the need arises.

The story is not different in Ondo State where guests are usually entertained with different kinds of girls during visits. A source at the Government House disclosed that the guests are usually accommodated at the VIP section of the Government House at Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital.

According to the source, the entertainment of guests depends on the preference of the visitors, saying some like to be entertained with women while others simply like to just drink.
“Anytime there are personal guests for the governor or a guest who comes on an official visit, they are usually lodged at the VIP Lodge of the Government House and if there is no space at the Government House, they would be lodged at any of the standard hotels in town.

“The guests would be entertained with whatever they prefer. Some of them do come along with their girls while some will ask us to provide them with girls to spend the night with. So the ladies will be invited to come and accompany them,” the source explained.
The source however said in most cases, the guests pay the girls they sleep with, noting that the amount charged depends on the negotiating power of the two parties but the protocol officers may sometimes offer the ladies transport fares while the ‘client’ pays the ‘service charge.’

“That has been the trend right from the days of the military administrators; it was even worse at that time than it is now. During that period, it was government that paid whatever amount each girl collected, not the guest but no one can say specifically the actual amount spent on these girls,” the source added.

In Cross River State, investigation showed that the use of government lodges as slaughter zones for girls has been a known trend since the military era.

Under the guise of ushers, young female undergraduates are usually camped at top government apartments such as the Presidential Lodge, Dan Archibong Lodge and Solomon Uno Lodge. During the era of the past administration in the state, our correspondent learnt that a young lady (name withheld), was in charge of recruiting these girls under a clandestine sub-head in the protocol unit of the governor’s office.

It was also gathered that these ladies, who are paid between N20, 000 and N50, 000 depending on the dignitaries they are meant to service, were also camped in two major high brow hotels in Calabar.

Some privately owned properties in the State Housing Estate in Calabar Municipality are also identified to have been used by top officials during the past administration.

A government source, who preferred anonymity, told one of our correspondents that these girls appear as ushers during the day whenever there are big events but are used to satisfy the sexual desire of willing dignitaries at night.
“Those that are not chosen by these dignitaries at night are usually paid around N20, 000 while those who follow them get more. There is this lady that was in charge of them during the era of the last administration. You can easily identify the girls because they are usually packed together in one of the government buses in the guise of being ushers,” he said. While many aides of governors in different states refused to comment on the findings, the Chief Press Secretary to Cross River State governor, Christian Ita, said the governor was too busy to engage in such a ‘mess.’ He added that there is no time to engage in such frivolity.
He said, “The resources here are well utilised; they are not meant for frivolities like that. We don’t even have a lodge here. The one we once had has been commercialised. It’s a hotel now, a business. We don’t have such experience in Cross River.

“Both the former and the current governors are too serious to be doing that. We go to work by 7:30am and get back around 3am. The governor is serious-minded. We are focused on moving the state forward, so there is no truth in that.”
Also, the CPS to the Edo State governor, Peter Okhiria, said such practice does not exist in the state.
He said, “That’s a bad story. We don’t have such experience here. The governor stays in the lodge with his beautiful wife and he is very serious-minded. He has a lot of work to do and he’s always thinking of how to move the state forward.”
Likewise, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media in Enugu State, Louiz Amoka, expressed surprise at the development, as he said it was not happening in the state governor’s lodge.
“Haba! What kind of story is that? Come and do the investigation. You will discover that such is not happening here,” he said.
The Commissioner for Information, Akwa Ibom State, Aniekan Umanah, said, “I don’t know about that. We’re not aware of that. The governor is very busy doing his job of governing the state. Akwa Ibom State is not involved in such. Nothing like that is happening here.”

Also,the Chief Press Secretary to Ondo State Governor, Mr. Eni Akinsola, denied that the state government facilities were used for such activities.

In a text message he sent to one of our correspondents, Akinsola said, “I have not heard such report about anybody in Ondo State. All I am sure of is that nobody uses the Governor’s house as a sex haven and nobody can turn it into such.
“The lodge is one building where the governor and his wife live. Other buildings in the Government House are for house functionaries of government and their wives. It is therefore impossible for anyone to turn any of such buildings into a sex haven or any other anti-social vices.
“For those who are qualified for government lodges, they live with their families. It will therefore be unimaginable for such to happen. The governor, as a responsible family man, has been and remains a role model to his aides and other government officials in modesty and decency. For such lurid tales, count Ondo State out.”


Corruption Trial: Buhari seeks ‘fearless’ judges to try looters

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has commenced the process of identifying a few fearless and courageous judges who will be saddled with the responsibility of prosecuting persons who have been found to have stolen national resources, THE PUNCH has learnt.

Buhari had while granting audience to members of the National Peace Committee led by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar in the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday disclosed that the prosecution of the indicted persons would commence in a matter of weeks.

“Those who have stolen the national wealth will be in court in a matter of weeks and Nigerians will know those who have short-changed them,” the President had told his guests.

Our correspondent however learnt on Sunday that the prosecution would not be open to “just any judge.”

It was learnt that the President was committed to ensuring that only judges who would expedite action on the cases and would be fearless in discharging their duties would be enlisted for the prosecution.

A source confided in our correspondent that that was one of the assignments Buhari gave to the Prof. Itse Sagay-led Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption which he set up on Monday.

The source said it would not be necessary to set up special courts to try corruption cases since efforts were already underway to identify judges that would key into the President’s dream of ensuring that no looter was left unpunished.

He said, “We do not need to entertain any fear that the prosecution of corruption-related cases will not be fast enough because many of our courts are already weighed down by many cases.

“The truth of the matter is that not all judges will be considered to take up the cases of those who have stolen our commonwealth.

“As a matter of fact, one of the assignments the President gave the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption led by Prof. Sagay is to identify fearless and courageous judges that will handle the cases.

“The idea is to ensure that the judges who will handle the cases will not be just any judges. They must be those who will expedite actions on the cases and discharge their duties with courage.

“You can see that with this development, the issue of special courts for corruption cases may not come. It is about special judges.”
Our correspondent also gathered that Buhari was already considering withdrawing national honours from any individual found to have looted the nation’s treasury.

It was learnt that the President’s position was that the nation should not be seen to be honouring any fruadulent person.
“The President will not hesitate to strip any corrupt person of national honour. Can you honour a person for milking the nation dry? It is irrelevant how long such persons have been bestowed with the national honours, they will be stripped of them,” the source said.
When contacted, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said it was reasonable that anybody found to be corrupt should be stripped of national honours.

Adesina however said such withdrawal of national honours would not be done until affected persons had been convicted by competent courts.
“Although it has not been considered, it is reasonable that those found guilty of corruption should be stripped of national honours bestowed on them. However, this will not be done before conviction,” the presidential spokesman said.
While announcing the establishment of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption on Monday, Adesina had said its brief was to advise the present administration on the prosecution of the war against corruption and the implementation of required reforms in Nigeria’s criminal justice system.

He said the committee was also saddled with the responsibility of developing comprehensive interventions for achieving the recommended reforms.

Punch NG

Economy: Nigeria adopts unorthodox measures to defend the naira

Nigeria's Central Bank governor Godwin Emefiele

The Nigerian government has resorted to chopping down trees lining the streets of its capital to thwart black market money changers, one of a range of unorthodox measures it is deploying to defend its weakening currency.

On an August morning in Abuja, a labourer who said he was hired by the city government cut branches from a towering tree with a chainsaw. Nearby other workers hacked away at smaller trees with machetes.

Asked what they were doing, one, who did not want his name published, replied: “The government does not want the trees because people are doing illegal work under them”.

The man was referring to money changers from the north of the country who rest under the shade of the trees and sell US dollars, British pounds, and even Saudi riyals to customers hungry for hard currency.

Another worker who gave his name as Alex said: “People change dollars on the road here and it’s not supposed to be like that. People are supposed to go to the banks to do transactions”.

But a series of central bank decrees issued this summer has instead increasingly restricted how Nigerians can use their banks, seemingly encouraging black market activity. For example, money changers in Abuja say the new rule barring Nigerians from depositing hard currency into banks only boosts unofficial trade.

The naira, still reeling from an oil price of less than $50 a barrel and political uncertainty in the run-up to this year’s elections, has lost a fifth of its value in the past year and has been devalued twice. In import-dependent Nigeria, demand for dollars remains high yet the fall in the price of crude has cut the flow of currency as income from oil exports has dwindled.

The central bank’s new controls, combined with its contentious move in June to restrict imports of critical goods such as rice and rubber, has hit foreign investor confidence in the administration of new president Muhammadu Buhari, who remains without a cabinet more than two months since his inauguration.

On August 11 the central bank lowered the ATM withdrawal limit, cutting the maximum naira limit by more than half, to 60,000 naira ($301) a day. Those with “domiciliary accounts” which are denominated in foreign currency can now take out only $300 a day. Earlier this month, the central bank banned Nigerians from depositing US dollars into their domiciliary accounts, angering people who had children at school abroad and had to pay school fees in foreign currency.
“Anything to strengthen the naira is important, but personally I need to transfer money to my family abroad, that’s why I opened a domiciliary account,” said a man in a suit after withdrawing the maximum daily amount of naira from a cash machine in the wealthy district of Ikoyi in Lagos. He did not want his name to be published. “In Nigeria we need these accounts because many of us work in foreign currency.”
At another row of cash machines at a nearby bank, 36-year-old car importer Babatunde Gbanga said the “liquidity challenges” and the new restrictions were hurting his business because he relied on being able to send and receive foreign currency from abroad.

The naira was in a “crisis situation” partly because of high demand for dollars, said Kunle Ezun, treasury researcher for Ecobank in Lagos. “In trying to control the FX market, the central bank is starving the money market of liquidity.”

Bank governor Godwin Emefiele has defended his policies, arguing that the measures are intended to stop speculation, decrease illicit financial flows and defend the naira. Mr Emefiele told the Financial Times this month he thought the naira was still appropriately priced, despite the spread between official and black market rates, and said his policies would help prepare Nigeria for a possible interest rate rise by the US Federal Reserve later this year.

Still, many economists disagree. Given that oil prices will remain low, the central bank’s naira policy raises the risk of more controls and even import bans, all of which could undermine growth, said Yvonne Mhango, Africa economist at Renaissance Capital.

Finamcial Times

Guess who this virgin got married to? See her wedding photos!

'I am married to Jesus': Consecrated virgin, 38, marries God in wedding ceremony that attracts hundreds

High school teacher Jessica Hayes, 38, held her unusual wedding at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne, Indiana

The bride said she changed her mind about her bridal dress many times 

'I really wanted to make sure that I was well-covered in a way that still shows the beauty of a bride,' she explained 

She also wore nude heels and had her shoulder-length hair curled for the special occasion 

The huge congregation mainly consisted of strangers

Hayes is one of 230 consecrated virgins in the US who have vowed to never have sex or marry

See Photos: