8 Jan 2017

Update! Ghana's Director of communication apologises for President plagiarised speech

Eugene Arhin, the Director of Communications at the Presidency has apologized for the lifted part of President Nana Akufo-Addo inaugural speech that wasn't acknowledged.
Part of his inaugural speech made at the swearing-in on January 7, 2017, was lifted from a 1993 speech by President Bill Clinton of the United States, while another part was also lifted from a speech another US president John F. Kennedy made in 1961.
After the new government was trolled on social media for the mishap, Eugene took to Facebook to issue an apology saying it was a 'complete oversight' and not deliberate.
Read his full statement below.
'My attention has been drawn to references being made to a statement in the speech delivered by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at his swearing in on Saturday, January 7, 2017, which was not duly acknowledged.I unreservedly apologize for the non-acknowledgement of this quote to the original author. It was a complete oversight, and never deliberate. It is insightful to note that in the same speech were quotes from Dr. J.B Danquah, Dr. K.A. Busia, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the Bible which were all duly attributed and acknowledged.'

Former Niger state governor, Abdulkadir Kure, dies in Germany

A former Governor of Niger State, Engr. Abdulkadir Kure, has died. According to family sources, the two-term governor died in a German hospital where he had gone for medical attention. He has been suffering an undisclosed ailment. He is survived by a wife and six children.

May his soul rest in peace, Amen.

See Abike Jagaban and her Babalawo husband on their wedding day ...photo

Bindu and Siafa tied the knot this weekend in Bomi County, Liberia. Philip Blamo, a US-based Liberian man, who posted the photos on Facebook wrote:

"It Is Getting Serious In Liberia We Need More Cosmetology Schools Says Rev. Blamo. Rev. Philip Blamo of the New Creation International Ministries In Liberia is calling on Liberian women home and abroad to invest in the business of Cosmetology to help women in the professional skill or practice of beautifying the face, hair, and skin.

Rev. Blamo said as the results of lack of professional skills and training many young Liberian women using make-up with our professional help are looking worse than they were before." 

Irish Gunman killed himself accidentally while 'plotting Hutch/Kinahan gangland hit'

Stock picture2
GARDAI are investigating if a criminal shot himself in the head by mistake while sitting in a stolen car en route to a potential gangland hit.
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Glen Clarke, a father-of-two, was discovered unconscious with a single gunshot wound to his head in the vehicle - which had been fitted with false plates - in the Riverdale Estate in Leixlip, Co Kildare on December 2.
The 26-year-old was found at 1.30am and brought by ambulance to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown where he subsequently died from his injury.
Gardaí in Co Kildare initially believed that he had died by suicide after discovering a handgun in the footwell of the silver Vauxhall Zafira.
However, a senior source has told Independent.ie that detectives now believe he shot himself by mistake.
The 'Sunday Times' today reports that Clarke had purchased a can of petrol shortly before his death and one theory being investigated is that he was on his way to carry out an assassination on behalf of the Kinahan crime cartel.
Murder victim Noel Kirwan and Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch22
Murder victim Noel Kirwan and Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch
The gun has undergone ballistics test to establish if it was used in any previous crimes. The car had been stolen in Blanchardstown in October.
Clarke, from Cabra in Dublin, was known to gardaí but was not considered a major criminal.
A senior source said: "This case was always regarded as an unusual one. He was discovered in a stolen car in a private estate.
"It is highly likely that he was going somewhere. If he was there before carrying out a hit then gardaí are very anxious to establish who was at risk.
"At the moment gardaí have not identified who the target was and this is something they are very keen to do."
The source added that the death was "most likely" an accident.
Detectives have been unable to identify any potential targets in that specific estate and believe it is far more likely that a potential victim was in Lucan or another nearby area.
On December 22, Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan was shot dead outside his home in St Ronan's Drive Clondalkin.
It is believed that Kirwan was shot dead because of his close friendship with Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.
He was the 11th victim of the Hutch/Kinahan feud.
A Garda spokesman confirmed that they are investigating all aspects of the sudden death.
Gardaí have appealed for anyone with information about Clarke's death to contact them in Leixlip on 01-6667800.

Source: Independent.ie

See 24-year old driver accused of stealing his boss' car, TVs and a pet dog ....photo

A 24-year old driver accused of stealing his boss' car, TVs and a pet dog,  has confessed that Christmas needs of his siblings pushed him into the stealing.

The suspect, Abass Ope, from Ogun State was arrested at Ojuelegba area of Lagos by the Decoy Team of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the State Police Command, on last year Boxing Day.
He was picked up by the Police while trying to sell off his ex-boss’s Toyota Avensis 2013 model with the registration number AGL 734 AR for N2 million. Arrested along with him were three of his friends: Balogun Oluwaseun (23); Sanni Azeez (23) and Stephen Ewiele (22).

Abass had during  Christmas period stormed his boss Magodo home while he and his family were holidaying in Delta State, with a conspirator to move a 100 inches LCD TV, another 42 inches LCD TV, a dog, a suitcase, 2 DSTV decoders and a Toyota Avensis, from the home.

It was learnt that the suspect invaded the home of his ex-boss after learning that he had travelled to Delta State for the Christmas holiday, and that the gatekeeper had also gone to church. A source said that the suspect was aware of where his boss usually kept keys to his rooms which made it easy for him to commit the crime. 
It was revealed that his ex-boss, on getting report of missing vehicle and property called the suspect on more than two occasions to intimate him of the development but he denied knowledge of the incidence.

The source further added that the boss had to cut short his holiday in Delta with his family to report the incident at Magodo Police Station.

The source added that he was shocked when an official of the RRS called him to notify him of his recovered vehicle because, he never reported the theft in RRS office.
According to Abass,
“I took the car because I had no money to take care of myself and younger ones. They had no clothes, no shoes and this is Yuletide season. They looked up to me to take care of these expenses…. It was about three months now that I left Mr. Ekinodo (his former boss). I had worked for him for four years before leaving him on August, 2016. I left because he had a little challenge and things were pretty tough for him. I left so that he could have himself sorted out."
He continued;
 “he was a very nice boss to work with. He enrolled me into University but I couldn’t continue the education when I left him. While he had this challenge, he owed me 8 month salary; this prompted me to take his property and the vehicle.'
He added,
“the auto dealer wanted to pay N2 million for the car but I insisted he pays N4 Million because I know it is worth more than that.… He offered me N1million instantly and that the balance would be ready in about few minutes time, but I decided to ignore the offer hoping that the dealer would call me back for a re-negotiation…. I went back to Ojuelegba few hours later in company of three of my friends, that was when RRS operatives arrested us."
According to Ekinodo Ifoghale,
“I am in shock. This is a guy I treated like a son. Apart from my wife, he was the closest person to me. This is a guy that did my shopping for me. Even, before I buy anything for myself, I bought for him first”.
“How can I owe him 8 months’ salary when he never worked for me in those periods? Did he inform me that I owed him? He was never in my house in the periods he claimed.… I called him more than twice when I got the report of the break in. He told me he knew nothing about it. If he had told me he needed money, I would have given him because we were still very close despite the fact that he was no longer working for me,” he added.
Confirming the incident, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Superintendent of Police, SP Dolapo Badmos, advised members of the public to always do a background check of their domestic servants so as not to expose themselves to criminals.
The suspects have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID)Yaba, for further investigation.

Update! Mother Cries, My son can't kill himself, he was manipulated

Many have yet to come to terms with what could have led a teenage undergraduate of Babcock Uni, Verishima Unokyur, to take his own life, write Punch's Gbenga Adeniji and Motunrayo Joel.

In what appeared as a clue to the mystery surrounding the suicide act by a part-two student of Babcock University, 19-year-old Verishima Unokyur, his mother, Patricia, on Friday said her son couldn’t have done such to himself without external influence.

The mother, who was pensive and heart-broken, told some sympathisers who came to console the family in their home in Ewu Tuntun, Mafoluku Oshodi area of Lagos that her son never gave her any trouble while alive.

She also disclosed her notice of his extremely reserved and shy nature which gave her concern.

She said sadly, ‘‘Why would my dear son commit suicide? He cannot do that. I know him. He was manipulated and God will fight for us. I will forever love my son. I know he was too reserved. I forced him to talk to me. I asked him if he was facing any threats anywhere or he didn’t like the school he was attending but he said no. Since he entered the university, his reserved nature got worse. He was neat and obedient. He is a son I wish to have again and again.’’

Verishima, who hailed from Benue State and was studying Social Work at Babcock, committed suicide in their apartment after the New Year when his mother, who works with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, was away on night duty and his younger brother, Asor, was asleep.

It was gathered that the deceased’s mother is a widow who has not remarried since the demise of her husband about 15 years ago but dedicates her time to the care of her two boys.

A source close to the family who refused to be named said the woman created time for her kids by taking them out most times and also frequently visited Verishima in school.

“Their mother is a very wonderful person. She gave up everything for the joy and comfort of her boys after the death of their father. She ensured that the boys lacked nothing. One would think Verishima was the son of a king because there was nothing he needed that he did not get. She also gave them attention, always ready to talk with them to know what was worrying them at anytime. She is a great woman and an amazing mother. Only God knows what went wrong because this woman did her best for her late son,” he said.

When approached by one of our correspondents for an interview, the distraught woman politely and vehemently refused to speak on the incident, noting that she detested publicity until the unfortunate development drew attention to her family.

Sources told Punch that prior to the suicide act, the teenager had a wonderful New Year celebration with his family members. It was also learnt that he ate to his satisfaction on that day without giving any inkling that he would soon depart from the family.

Besides, it was gathered that the deceased was an usher in the pentecostal church which the family attends.

Reacting to the incident, the spokesperson for Babcock University, Mr. Joshua Suleiman, who described the late Verishima as a little reserved, said he was an A grade student.

Suleiman stated, “Verishima was a good student; his academic performance was excellent. He always obeyed instructions and was easy-going. We rated him as a student who was law-abiding. Whether in class or in his hostel, you would never catch him behaving rudely to anyone. He had a good character and was disciplined. At this very moment, the school grieves over his death and we sympathise with his mother. It is saddening, nobody expected this. We are deeply saddened over his departure.”

The Spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Dolapo Badmos, told Punch that the case was under investigation. She added that the command was working to unravel the matter.

Some of Verishima’s friends have continued to mourn his death on social media. One of them, Christiana Omolola, linked the development to ‘spiritual attack,’ while asking God to give his family the fortitude to bear the loss.

Update! EFCC finally locates Diezani’s hidden estate

Who owns this sprawling estate in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State? The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) suspects it belongs to former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

It was discovered by operatives of the anti-graft agency in the course of their investigation of public funds allegedly stolen by Madam Diezani.

The investigators conducted a search on some of the houses on the estate.

Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu has already left Nigeria for London in connection with the investigation of the ex-minister and some upscale properties traced to her at home and abroad.

About five bank chiefs are likely to face trial over the $153m allegedly withdrawn by the ex-minister from the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation( NNPC) in December 2014.

The Nation gathered that the EFCC team, acting on intelligence, uncovered the sprawling estate that is coded as BGIS/OK/02/16/310.

It is located on Diepreye Alamieyeseigha Street, off Goodluck Jonathan Road in Yenagoa, Bayelsa.

A source familiar with the investigation said: 
“Following our obtaining a court order to recover some assets belonging to Diezani, we were able to gather intelligence which led to the location of the hidden estate in question in Bayelsa State.

“Our operatives also conducted searches in some houses on the estate based on tip off on the ex-minister.

“We will follow due process in invoking the relevant laws on asset forfeiture on all the mansions in the estate.”

FG releases another N388Billion to States

A lot of money is going to states these days from the federal purse, so none of the states will have any excuse not to pay their workers and the pensioners, henceforth.

The Federal Government has released N388.304 Billion to 17 States as part of the N522 Billion bail out funds approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Rivers State, Lagos, Delta and Akwa Ibom State tops the List of gainers. See full list:

Physically Challenged son of Gbenga Daniel bags distinction in UK University ...photo

Adebola Irede Daniel, the physically challenged son of former Ogun state governor, Gbenga Daniel, has made Nigeria proud by bagging a distinction in MSc Mechanical Engineering programme from the University College, London.

His dad, Otunba Gbenga Daniel is a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and the Chairman of Kresta Laurel, an engineering firm specializing in elevators. His son is now in engineering too.

See how a shop owner punished man who stole from him ...photo

An eyewitness, Livinus Ozioma Chukwu who witnessed it narrated what happened on his Facebook page. He wrote....

Watch video of baby abandoned by the roadside at Abeokuta-Lagos expressway

According to Emmanuel Jolly who shared the video on his Facebook page, the little baby was abandoned yesterday morning at Lagos-Abeokuta expressway. In the video, a group of people are seen lifting the baby from near a vehicle tyre where he was abandoned and wrapping him up in a duvet. 

See the video after the cut...

Nigerian and Cameroonian men who organized sham marriages jailed in the UK ...photo

Two men who orchestrated sham marriage scam in the UK have been jailed. Martin Okoko, 31, a Nigerian national and a 45-year-old Cameroonian national organised bogus weddings in an attempt to by-pass immigrations rules.

The marriages between Hungarians, Nigerians and Cameroonians took place in Gretna and Leicester between 2007 and 2012. Odume also took part in a fake marriage of his own in order to gain residency in the UK.

Sarah Knight, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court the pair were caught following an inquiry by Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations officers, which began when intelligence was received that Okoko was arranging sham marriages from a shop he ran in Woodgate, Leicester. 
There were also separate reports from registrars in Gretna of suspicious marriages involving individuals from the Leicester area. At the end of a six week trial, a jury found Okoko, of Aikman Avenue, New Parks, Leicester, guilty of two offences of assisting unlawful immigration and Odume, of Loughborough Road, Leicester, of three counts. Odume was jailed for five years, and Okoko for four years.

The court heard that the two men sourced Hungarian ‘brides’ and ‘grooms’ for bogus weddings, and arranged for them to fly to the UK to take part.

Miss Knight said the marriages were later used as the basis for applications for leave to remain and work in the UK, and the pair produced and supplied fake paperwork such as payslips and employer references to support the applications.

Individuals were charged a minimum of £3,000 for the sham services. Judge Robert Brown said: 
"There’s very real and understandable public concern over breaches in immigration law." 
He said the organisers committed the scam for “pure greed”, but said Okoko, who saw it as an opportunity to make money when his business was failing, was “slightly lesser involved than Odume”.

Odume qualified as a doctor in Nigeria and a reference praising his former work at Leicester Royal Infirmary was read out in court.
Two brides and a groom involved in taking part in the weddings were also sentenced for one count each of assisting in unlawful immigration.

Kelechi Osuchukwu (36), formerly of Kelvin Road, Walsall, a Nigerian national, failed to attend court for his trial and was convicted and sentenced in his absence to three years imprisonment. A warrant was issued for this arrest and the judge said he faced a consecutive term for absconding.
Mother-of-one Blandine Tietchem (31), a Cameroon national, of Millwood Close, off Thurcaston Road, Leicester, who was a nurse in a Leicester-based intensive care unit, wept as she was jailed for two years, having been convicted by the jury.

Hungarian national Ramona Horvath (25), of no fixed address, who is due to give birth in February, pleaded guilty and gave evidence during the trial for the prosecution. She was given an eight month sentence. The judge said they all faced deportation.

In mitigation, counsel said those who paid for a sham wedding had been trying to remain in the UK to obtain work and have a better life. Afterwards, Andy Radcliffe, from Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations, said: “Our main aim is to identify the organisers, like Odume and Okoko, who profit from – and fuel the demand for – sham marriages, destroy their criminal business and put them behind bars.

"The Home Office is taking strong action to crack down on sham marriages and this was a thorough and successful investigation by our team of specialist investigators. Our message could not be clearer – we will not tolerate immigration abuse and offenders will be dealt with.”

"A sham marriage or civil partnership typically occurs when a non-European national marries someone from the European Economic Area as a means of attempting to gain long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits in the UK."

Source: Leicester Mercury

Trial date set for Nigerian man charged with killing his 4-year-old daughter in Canada ...photo

A trial date has been set for this fall for a man arrested in Ontario and charged in the 2014 death of his four-year-old daughter in Alberta, Canada.

Oluwatosin Oluwafemi was arrested in December 2015 and flown back to Calgary to face a charge of second-degree murder. He appeared in court Friday, January 6th, and a two-week trial date was set for Oct. 2, 2017.

The court was originally told the earliest date would be Mar. 26, 2018. Justice Earl Wilson of Court of Queen’s Bench insisted such a delay would be unacceptable.
"There’s no way we’re going to be putting this trial off for another year," Wilson said Friday. "This man is presumed innocent until proven otherwise."

Officers were called to a home in Calgary on Dec. 19, 2014, and found the preschool girl in cardiac arrest and not breathing. Olive Rebekah Oluwafemi was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Investigators said her injuries appeared to have been inflicted inside her home and were not the result of an accident.

"The cause of death was blunt force injuries," Staff Sgt. Colin Chisholm said. "We believe there were injuries…upwards of weeks prior to the incident."
Olive’s death was deemed a homicide in January, 2015. Chisholm said the family of three had been living in Calgary for approximately two years prior to the death of Olive, but had left just weeks after her death.

Chisholm said her father was a suspect from the beginning of the investigation, but it took a long time to lay charges because medical evidence in child and infant deaths takes extra long to come back.
"At the time, investigators believed the injuries that caused her death were inflicted within the family home, and were not the result of play, an accident such as falling down stairs, nor medical intervention consistent with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)," police had said in a release. Chisholm said police were initially told Olive fell down stairs in the family home.

Oluwafemi is originally from Nigeria and was working as a graduate engineer in the oil industry in Calgary. He moved to Keswick, Ont., to be near his family. He has been in custody since his arrest.

Source: Canada Press

Meet the latest Ghanaian presidential wives and daughters ...photo

The wives of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia went out in style to support their husbands as they were officially inaugurated into office. Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Samira Bawumia alongside their beautiful daughters were all seated together at the swearing-in ceremony, which held at the Independence Square on Saturday. 

See more photos after the cut...

Check out Tiwa Savage and her son at the beach in Dubai ...photo

Tiwa Savage and her son, Jamil Balogun are currently in Dubai. She shared these photos of herself with her little boy, having fun by the beach.

Photo of 46-year-old man sentenced to 13 years in jail for raping two schoolgirls repeatedly for years ...photo

A part-time builder and DJ who raped two school girls repeatedly for years in London, has been sentenced by a Judge to 13 years in jail. Paul Francis (pictured) from Lewisham, was jailed for 13 years after pleading guilty to five sex assaults and four counts of rape.

Investigation was launched by police in September 2016 after one of the girls summed up the courage and told staff at her school about the attacks. The other younger girl was unable to speak about the terrible abuse but wrote a short note and drawing explaining what Francis had done.

Police discovered Francis worked as a DJ at parties and private functions and arrested him. They are now urging any other possible victims who have been raped or sexually assaulted by him to contact police and speak up, promising specialist officers will sensitively support them through the process of giving evidence and bring offenders to book.

Update! India police re-arrest Nigerian drug dealer who escaped from police custody

The anti-narcotics cell (ANC) of Mumbai police has re-arrested the Nigerian national, who escaped from police custody last week. 

According to The Times of India, the ANC and the crime branch had launched a manhunt to trace drug convict John Okoro and he was arrested from the Navi Mumbai area, from where he was planning to flee to Mangalore by a private bus.

Okoro, who resided in Koparkhairene in Navi Mumbai, was arrested in 2014 in a drug case. The court convicted him for a three-year jail term. Okoro was sent to Nashik central prison after conviction. 

Okoro was released from jail on December 31 and was to be deported to Nigeria. He was brought to the ANC's Azad Maidan lock up and kept on the first floor. Okoro, on the pretext of going to the washroom, jumped from the first floor at 2 am on Monday and fled on foot.

A pregnant Nigerian woman and her children are detained at a 'beggar home" in India

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal,(pictured) came across gross violation of human rights during a surprise visit to a government-run 'beggar home' here and found over 15 foreign nationals, including a pregnant Nigerian woman and her two children, lodged there amid pathetic living conditions.

The DCW said it found violation of human rights of several inmates. After she spent a night at the beggar home at Nirmal Chaya Complex in Janakpuri on Tuesday, January 3, the DCW chief has now issued notices to the Social Welfare Department and Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) -- a government agency responsible for regulating the extended stay and movement of foreigners in India. Maliwal sought a reply from the FRRO and Social Welfare Department within 72 hours.
"Fifteen women and two children - all foreign nationals -- housed in the home... The DCW Chairperson met an Uzbek national who complained of molestation by FRRO officials," a DCW statement said.

Maliwal found that the Nigerian woman, whose two children were also lodged along with her at the beggar home since December 26, had complained for the past 10 days to the staff that she was no longer feeling any movement in her womb but to no avail.
"She alleged no action was taken to help her. She said she begged the staff to allow her to call her doctor but she was denied the same," the statement said.
The foreign nationals were detained for overstaying in India for different reasons. Women inmates, who said they were wearing the same clothes for days, complained to Maliwal that they were not allowed to make phone calls to their families or embassies due to which they have not been able to contact anyone for legal or financial assistance.
The women were worried since their families had no idea where they were. The DCW chief found that only two of the five toilets at the beggar home were fit for use. One toilet was marked 'HIV', which no one used due to fear of contracting the disease whereas one was locked for use by staff.
Maliwal has since written to the beggar home superintendent to ensure proper medical treatment for the pregnant Nigerian woman and another from Kenya.
"The commission Chairperson was shocked to learn from the inmates that their private parts are physically checked by the caretaker before they are allowed entry into the home. When asked, the caretaker on duty admitted to the same in front of inmates," the DCW statement said.
A Kenyan national said she was taken six times to a doctor in the complex but he did not conduct any test and her medical problem is persisting.