Wednesday, 21 October 2020


Items filtered by date: October 2019

The centre-back was left dumbfounded by the decision, which led to a late equaliser

Chris Smalling has admitted that he was left in “disbelief” by the decision to award a handball against him in the closing stages of Roma‘s Europa League 1-1 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach.

The centre-back, currently in his first season with the Serie A club, was penalised for an incident in injury-time in the box by referee Willie Collum.

Lars Stindl tucked away the spot-kick to cancel out Nicolo Zaniolo’s first half effort in the 95th minute at Stadio Olimpico, leaving Paulo Fonseca’s side with only a slim lead at the top of Group J.

However, replays have shown that Smalling was struck in the face with the ball rather than his hand or arm, leading to widespread furore with VAR not being used in the competition until the final.

The Manchester United loanee and one-time England man took to social media after the match to vent his frustrations following the bizarre decision and crucial officiating mistake.

“[I’m in] disbelief that this decision went against us,” he wrote, along with a clip of the incident. “We deserved the [three] points, so disappointed.”

Published in News & Stories

A former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Jumoke Akinjide has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of coercing her to return the N650million that she is accused of laundering.

She prayed Justice Chukeujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos to compel the anti-graft agency to return the money to her.

The EFCC is prosecuting Akinjide alongside two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains, Ayo Adeseun and Olanrewaju Otiti, for an alleged fraud of N650m.

The anti-graft agency alleged that she collected N650m from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.

But in a fresh application by her lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), Akinjide said she had already been coerced by the EFCC to return the N650m.

She prayed the court to quash the charges against her for being an abuse of court processes.

She said no prima facie case of fraud was disclosed against her in the proof of evidence filed before the court by the EFCC.

Akinjide said contrary to the claim by the EFCC that she collected N650m from Diezani, the money was actually from the fundraiser organised by the Peoples Democratic Party to fund the re-election campaign of then President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo.

She argued that the EFCC was aware that such fundraising was legal and normal under the Electoral Act 2010; and that the All Progressives Congress also conducted a similar fundraiser and realised N50bn, which it used to fund the electioneering campaign of its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, and his running mate, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

She said while PDP members were being “harassed, charged or prosecuted” over the money realised from its fundraiser, “none of the members or candidates of the APC was charged from the conclusion of the 2015 general elections till date on the basis of the N50bn fundraising.”

Akinjide said she handled the N650m in her capacity as the Oyo State Coordinator of the Goodluck/Sambo presidential election campaign in Oyo State, adding that “the money was distributed to various groups and sub-coordinators of the PDP in Oyo State as directed by the party in order that the funds may be further distributed to party agents and other workers in the campaign organisation.”

“No single individual received sums in excess of N5m from this political chest,” she said.

She, however, lamented that “soon after the election and the inauguration of a new administration controlled by the APC at the federal level, the respondent (EFCC) was unleashed on leaders of the PDP under the guise of the now well-known ‘fight against corruption’ – which many Nigerians have come to perceive as a persecution of PDP leaders by the APC-controlled administration of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Akinjide prayed the court to acquit and discharge her of the fraud charges filed against her by the EFCC.

Published in News & Stories

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the appointment of four Justices for Supreme Court.

It also constituted a panel to investigate petitions pending against eight judges.

The NJC, at its meeting held between Tuesday and Wednesday, also recommended the appointment of 13 judges for Federal, State High Courts and one Kadi for Sharia Court of Appeal.

Among those recommended for appointment is the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, as the substantive head of the court.

Published in News & Stories

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has re-arraigned a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Maurice Iwu, for an alleged fraud of N1.23bn.

He pleaded not guilty. Justice Nicholas Oweibo granted him bail and adjourned till November 25, 2019.

Published in Politics

Movie lovers get in here, the wait is finally over!

Uche Jombo, Bukky Wright, Joseph Benjamin, Mary Magdalene, Robert Peters and Femi Adebayo star in Emem Isong’s new movie, “Special Jollof”.

Emem Isong, who also directed Zahara & Ayamma, is also the producer for “Special Jollof”.

She wrote wrote: The is how excited I get when I hear #specialjollofmovie is almost ready.

Published in Arts & Culture

Eminem and his lawyers received a visit from the Secret Service last year after the agency was contacted by a “concerned citizen.”

According to Buzzfeed, the 47-year-old rapper was visited by the Secret Service because of the controversial lyrics Eminem rapped about President Trump.

If you forgot, Eminem slammed Trump in his freestyle “The Storm,” which he performed during the 2017 BET Hip-Hop Awards.

On the track, Eminem called out the president for criticizing NFL players, for his reaction to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, and more.

Then Eminem took aim at Ivanka Trump on his song “Framed” where he raps, “Donald Duck’s on, there’s a Tonka Truck in the yard/ But dog, how the f–k is Ivanka Trump in the trunk of my car?”

And it didn’t end there. On his track “The Ringer,” Eminem continued his attack on Trump, rapping, “‘Cause Agent Orange just sent the Secret Service/ To meet in person to see if I really think of hurtin’ him/ Or ask if I’m linked to terrorists/ I said, ‘Only when it comes to ink and lyricists.’”

It has now been reported that Secret Service agents did visit Eminemand looked into his controversial lyrics after they were contacted by a “concerned citizen.”

According to Buzzfeed, specifics from Eminem and the Secret Service’s conversation were redacted and Eminem‘s case was marked “non-referred” by federal prosecutors, who decided that his lyrics did not pose a threat against Trump‘s safety.

Published in Entertainment

US Federal prosecutors said an Atlanta, Georgia-based Nigerian, Olufolajimi Abegunde has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for his role in an internet fraud scheme that stole an estimated $15m through computer and wire fraud.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Memphis, Tennessee, said on Thursday that the 32-year-old Abegunde was sentenced Tuesday for wire fraud, the second Nigerian to be sentenced in less than a week. Last week in Missouri, another Nigeria, Segun Prosper Otaru was also jailed for cyber fraud.

After his arrest last year, Abegunde lied to Nigerian officials that his arrest was based on mistaken identity and asked for help to get him out of the FBI jaws.

But court documents showed otherwise.

Prosecutors said the Atlanta resident and several other people created fake business emails and profiles on dating websites to trick victims into sending money to bogus bank accounts. Funds were laundered and wired to destinations in Nigeria, Ghana and some other West African countries.

The scams caused about $15 million in losses for victims.

Abegunde’s role was that he helped launder money through a compromised business email of a land title company located in Bellingham, Washington, and a real estate company in Memphis, Tennessee.

The case against Abegunde by US Department of Justice:
A citizen of Nigeria residing in Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to 78 months in prison yesterday for his role in an international cyber fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant of the Western District of Tennessee.

Olufolajimi Abegunde, 32, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sheryl L. Lipman of the Western District of Tennessee who also ordered Abegunde to pay $57,911.62 in restitution to the victims of his offense. Abegunde and Javier Luis Ramos-Alonso, 29, were convicted in March after a seven-day trial in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Ramos-Alonso previously received a 31-month sentence for his role in the scheme.

Abegunde and Ramos-Alonso participated in a criminal organization in which members “spoofed” emails and created fake profiles on dating websites in order to fool victims into sending money to bogus bank accounts under the control of members of the conspiracy. The proceeds would be laundered and subsequently wired out of the United States to destinations including West Africa. The organization as a whole is believed to have caused more than $10,000,000 in damage to U.S. citizens and businesses.

The evidence presented at trial showed that Abegunde, who received an MBA from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, engaged in black-market currency exchanges over the life of the conspiracy. Purporting to hold himself out as a legitimate businessman, Abegunde claimed association with a business entity that was not yet operational in late 2017, so for his primary source of income he relied on his off-the-book currency exchanges. Through this network, Abegeunde played a key role, along with Ramos-Alonso, in laundering fraud funds from an Oct. 3, 2016, business email compromise (BEC) of a land title company located in Bellingham, Washington. The proceeds of another BEC perpetrated in July 2016 upon a real estate company in Memphis, Tennessee, also moved through parts of the same criminal organization.

Abegunde, who faced numerous account closures from banks in the United States, used a complicated network of third-party bank accounts to disguise his illicit activity. The proof at trial established that Abegunde told people that he could not receive payments into accounts that could be “tracked,” and that he preferred to engage in cash transactions because they were easier to clean and “eliminated the risk.”

In addition to his financial activities, Abegunde also engaged in a conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. Abegunde was married during his studies at Texas A&M, but divorced his wife in 2016 to marry a U.S. service member through whom he could obtain immigration and health care benefits and also open new bank accounts. He continued to live with his first wife in Atlanta while his U.S. service member wife was deployed to South Korea. While incarcerated and awaiting trial in the Western District of Tennessee, Abegunde continued his conspiratorial activities, trying to convince his fake spouse, who has since filed for divorce, to refuse to testify against him. Abegunde also engaged in witness tampering by sending a self-written Motion to Dismiss bearing his former attorney’s name and professional attestation. The evidence at trial established that Abegunde drafted and sent the motion, which his attorney expressly did not authorize, to his faux spouse in an effort to deceive her into not testifying against him.

Five other individuals have pleaded guilty to being involved in the scheme. Additionally, several foreign nationals are awaiting extradition to the United States to face trial. Others are still at large.

Accomplices of Abegunde:

Alexander Duimont
Andrew “Andy” Jackson
Ayodeji Olumide Ojo
Babatunde Martins
Benard Okorhi
Brianna Lee
Brianna Morrison
Carolina Nkomo
Christian Hinds
Dana Brady
Daniel Elya
Daniel Roberts
Dennis Miah
Dr. Dennis Brown
James Dean
James “Jim” Roy
James Yorke
Javier Luis Ramos Alonso
Joey Hammond
Jon Bunyan
Marc Richards
Maxwell Peter
Olufolajimi (FJ) Abegunde
Peter Maxwell
Rob Phantom
Sandra Lin
Sherry Jupiter Martinez
Sual Derrell
Sumaila Hardi Wumpini
Tammy Dollan
Tammy Henry
Victor Daniel Fortune Okorhi

Published in Business and Economy

West Ham United’s defeat at the hands of Everton on Saturday saw them suffer back-to-back Premier League losses for the first time this season.

The Hammers’ first defeat came at the hands of Manchester City on the opening weekend of the season, but they quickly bounced back, winning three and drawing three of their next six games.

Key to that impressive run was summer signing Sebastien Haller.

The French striker scored thrice and assisted once, while he also opened the scoring in the loss to Crystal Palace prior to the international break.

The £45 million is arguably West Ham’s best player of the season so far, and despite admitting he has started the campaign more than he had anticipated, manager Manuel Pellegrini has challenged him to keep improving.

“I think that he is not doing bad but I think he can do better also,” the Chilean told

“It is always difficult for different players to come from another league and start here.

“He has started better maybe than we expected, now he must make more movements in the box for the way we play because we need to score more goals.”

The Hammers are looking to finish in top-seven this season, and after scoring 11 goals and leaking 13 so far, they definitely need to improve at both ends.

Haller is doing very well considering the ease and pace with which he has adapted to the English top-flight, and other attacking players have to step up.

Apart from Andriy Yarmolenko – who has scored thrice – the other West Ham forwards are you to score, and while he has assisted thrice, Felipe Anderson has to do much more.

Haller has proven within such a short while that he can deliver if provided with the needed services – which were lacking against Palace and Everton – and Pellegrini must find a system that will get his wingers and full-backs constantly feeding the Frenchman to get the best out of him.

Published in Headliners

After having an extremely disappointing start to the season which sees them sit just two points above the relegation zone, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Manchester United are planning future transfers to save them from this mess.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had explained beforehand that their problems aren’t going to be solved anytime soon and that a longer process will be needed for them to get back amongst the top.

United are looking towards the next few transfer windows to remove the deadwood and bring in players in line with Solskjaer’s philosophy to promote young British players through their system.

It seems like they’ve set their sights on one particular player, as James Maddison is apparently on their radar to be signed sometime in the next summer transfer window.

According to Manchester Evening News, United are allegedly optimistic at getting the England International signed during the next summer transfer window.

Maddison is obviously a crucial part of Leicester City’s attack and has been impressive with his work on the bigger occasions.

He scored against Liverpool at Anfield and won the game against Tottenham Hotspur earlier this season, even earning his national call-up from Gareth Southgate as a reason.

According to MEN, United are confident that Maddison will accept their offer to sign for the Red Devils as he’s a boyhood United fan and in great terms with former team-mate Harry Maguire.

At 23 years of age, Maddison is seen at being the perfect age for making the right impact at United and has all the values which is appreciated by the Norwegian gaffer.

United apparently want players who are respectful and will not hesitate to sign autographs for supporters when wearing the club jacket. However, they want players with the arrogance to overwhelm oppositions when they’re playing for the club.

That being said, Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has no intentions of letting go off Maddison anytime soon and recently reiterated the club for being the perfect place for him to “flourish”.

He stated, “He’s a player that we very much want to keep here. He’s a very talented young player that has a lot of development to make over the coming years.”

“He recognises this is a great place for him to be, and gives him that opportunity to flourish and develop.”, the former Liverpool manager also explained.

Maddison is contracted with Leicester till 2023 after signing for the Foxes last season in a £20 million deal from Norwich City.

He’s already scored two and assisted two goals in the Premier League this season. As his valuation keeps soaring with his rising performance-level, United know they’ll have to spend big to attain his services next season.

Published in Sports

Siddin Sarkin Kano, Alhaji Auwalu Maja, has revealed the circumstances that prompted his sack by Emir of Kano, His Highness Muhammad Sanusi 11.

He told reporters on Monday at Kano that he was sacked for honouring Kano Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje during the march for his tribunal victory.

Maja alleged he has been relegated to the background since the emergence of Sanusi, saying his hard work was not commensurate with what he gets.

Recalling the incidents that led to his sack, he said: “When Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje returned to Kano after two weeks of official trip with President Muhamamdu Buhari, last Wednesday, I was one of the people that joined the mammoth to welcome him.
“On that fateful day, I presented a regalia and the portrait of the late Emir of Kano, Sarki Ado Abdullahi Bayero to Governor Ganduje to show my excitement and joy as I joined the good people of Kano state to celebrate with him over his victory at the Tribunal.

“It was that singular action of mine that prompted the current Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi 11 to give a verbal instruction for my dismissal and vacation from my official residence where I have lived for over 20 years.

“When they conveyed the Emir’s instruction to me, I immediately complied and vacated the residence. This is the third time I have been asked to vacate that office!
“Apart from that, I was also asked to hand over the keys of my office to another person as well as, all other properties belonging to the Palace and I complied.

“By virtue of my assignment, I used to work with Shamaki (the head of the Place Guards) directly. It was the Shamaki, Alhaji Wada Najalo that carried out the Emir Sanusi’s instruction to sack and dismiss me from the Palace.

“Based on the instruction given to me to hand over all the properties of the Palace, I asked my boys to bring out all the Palace properties under our care and present them to Shamaki, which they did.

“However, my utmost concern is that since the coming of Emir Sanusi, I am being relegated to the background.My official assignment is a tedious one which I carried out religiously but my hard work is not commiserated with my welfare.

“I have no personal animosity against Emir Sanusi or anybody in the Emirate. They humiliated me because I honoured Governor Ganduje. Now my appeal to the emir is restore my position.”

Published in Politics
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