Monday, 18 October 2021

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday took into brief custody the immediate past President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki in connection with the ongoing investigation into how a N17billion bond was spent during his tenure as Kwara State governor.

He was also grilled on alleged diversion of N9billion fraud by his successor as governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed.

Ahmed who was finance commissioner during Saraki’s tenure as a governor, had earlier been interrogated by the EFCC.

The cash in question h was allegedly diverted between 2011 and 2019.

Saraki was expected to explain projects executed with the N17billion bond during his tenure.

The bond was obtained in 2009 .

A source in EFCC told The Nation that Saraki was brought to the commission at about 2.30pm.

Saraki was let off last night.

He said he was asked by the EFCC to come after he attended a wedding reception in Abuja.

He said there was no big deal honouring an invitation by a state agency.

“He is being quizzed in respect of the N17billion bond and the ongoing probe of alleged diversion of N9billion during the tenure of ex-Governor Ahmed,” the source said.

“In the course of interacting with the ex-governor (Ahmed), some issues cropped up and it is important Saraki is investigated.

“We have been on this case since December 2020 and we have reached a convenient bend to invite Saraki.

“On this same case, a former Commissioner for Finance under Ahmed, Ademola Banu has been arraigned for alleged fraud.

“Banu was put on trial alongside Travel Messenger Company Limited and one Olarewaju Adeniyi, on nine counts before Justice Babangana Ashigar of the Federal High Court, Ilorin, Kwara State.”

The source said the EFCC had conducted a comprehensive investigation into the N17billion bond which has generated issues among Kwarans.

The source said:” We have a report on the N17billion but we want Saraki to clarify all allegations since he was the one in charge.

“Some aspects of the report are:

“Asa Dam Mixed Use Development project: The project had N2billion allocated from the bond. However the sum of N83.688 431.68 was spent on consultancy by ECAD Designs Limited and nothing else was done.

“Ilorin Water Distribution Project was allocated N2, 000,000,000. However, N3, 736,505,126.49 was spent on the project. The only contractor for the project was C.G.C Nigeria Limited. An analysis of the Kwara state Government’s First Bank of Nigeria Plc account revealed that the sum of N1billion was paid to C.G.C apparently for the project. Investigation is still ongoing.

“Another project which benefitted from the bond is Kwara State University with a N1billion vote. But a total of N1, 675 607.905 23 was spent. The project had the following contractors: Charvet Nigeria Limited, Akit technology Limited, Integrated Concept Limited, Golden Consult and the University Itself.

“The project was handled by the Ministry of Works and the Commissioner at the time was one Kolawole Abdulrauf Shitttu. Investigation revealed that Mr. Shittu and one Engr. Akintola Taiwo are both directors and the accounts signatories to a company called PTL Consult Limited. Shittu is also a signatory to another company called Strudev Consultancy Services. Analysis of the companies’ accounts and the Mr. Shittu’s personal account revealed that transfers were made by Charvet Nigeria Limited and Archon Nigeria Limited; the two companies were among the contractors of the University Project.

“The Managing Director at Archon was invited and he stated that he was the project manager for the construction of the Kwara State University and that he was informed by the State Government that PTL Consult is the consultant on the project and that he worked with Engr. Taiwo during the period which was why they made payments to PTL Consults’ account.

“Efforts are being made to arrest Mr. Shittu.

“Concerning Kwara Mall, the fact-sheet claimed that the project was allocated N500million and the entire sum was utilized by the Ministry of Commerce.

It added: “The Permanent Secretary was unable to provide us with details of how the money was spent but did state that they were in partnership with a private company; Persians investments Limited and that the Kwara mall was constructed and is being fully utilized. A search of the company showed that they were into real estate and property management; parts of their properties included Kwara mall, Viva Cinema, Polo Park Enugu among others.

“Analysis of the company bank statement showed N500million paid to the company by the Kwara State Government on the 10th of June 2010. While the investigation is ongoing, the sum of two million USD $2,000,000 deposit was traced to one of the company’s accounts. The depositor is being tracked by detectives and all relevant agencies.”

Regarding irrigation project, the EFCC detectives alleged that the “document recovered from the Accountant-General did not show this project but the Permanent Secretary stated that the project ,also known as Shonga Irrigation Project ,was handled by the Ministry and the contract was awarded to C.G.C Nigeria Limited for N2,998,966,827. However, only N882, 944,215 was paid to the company. He further stated that the project was later taken over by the Federal Government.

On the International Aviation College, whose licence was suspended recently, the detectives, in their report ,said it was allocated N1.5billion from the bond but N2,448.663.386.56 was spent in on the construction and purchase of equipment.

“Contractors that handled the project were: Godab Nigeria Limited. Henry George Nigeria Limited, ECAD Design (Consultants) and the college itself. The College is alleged to be fully owned by the Kwara State Government and registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) R C; 746511. Its board included the current State Governor, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Razak Atunwa (a former commissioner in the state) Popoola Captain Shadrack Taiwo and Yusuf Tunde. The registrar of the college was invited for an interview and questioned on the finances of the college as well as aspects in which the college handled during the construction of the college. He stated that the bursar of the school died recently but most contracts were handled by one Harlequin Aviation Information Service Limited (HAIS).

“A search at the company found that one Yusuf Tunde is a Director as well as signatory to the accounts of the company: he is also a Board member of the Aviation College. Based on this the accounts of HAIS were placed on caution and the company’s representative is to report for an interview on the 30th of August 2018.

The report clarified the status of loan refinancing by the state government.

It said: “The prospectus of the bond stated that Kwara state had indebtedness of N4, 980,000 in external loans out of which N3.3billion amounted to legacy obligations preceding the then administration They proposed utilizing N2, 400,000,000 from the bond proceeds of the bond to service part of the legacy obligations which were (a) African Development Bank(AFDB)- construction of four specialist hospitals in Jebba, Offa, Oke-Ode and Sobi at a cost of N1,440, 828, 000; (b) AFDB-equipment procurements to the four specialist hospitals; ( C) World Bank Essential Drug Projects.

“The total debt was N3, 301, 162, 42. Only Documents obtained from the Accountant-General of the State did not show any indication that monies were paid to AfDB or the World Bank instead another list with heading ‘OTHER PAYMENT’ showed the names of Government Agencies and private companies being paid a total of N974, 896,343.47.

“The companies were invited. One of the companies, Lolada Investment Limited reported and stated that they were awarded a contract valued at N285, 652, 200 by the Kwara state Government to install CCTV system for Ilorin metropolitan.”

Spokesman of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren , confirmed the arrest and detention of the former Senate President, last night.

Uwajaren said Saraki was invited for questioning over allegations of corruption and money laundering.

Published in News & Stories

By Adeniyi Adewoyin/ THE NATION

Big Brother Naija Shine Ya Eye housemate, Maria has revealed that she’s angry with Yerins because he saw her naked.

Maria disclosed this during a conversation with Arin, Nini, Pere, and Saga after the Saturday night party.

She noted Yerins has always been coming close to her but they are just friends the same way she’s friends with other housemates and that does not warrant him looking at her nakedness through the mirror.

“Yerims saw me naked through the mirror. I hate it. Don’t see me naked. I’m not your fucking girlfriend,” she told Arin, Nini, Pere and Saga.

“Why would you see me naked? He’s been coming close to me. I’m not dating anyone so it’s not bad for us to be close but don’t intrude and see me naked. I feel some type of way”.

Published in News & Stories

By: Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja/ THE NATION

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba had recommended immediate suspension of embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari from the Nigeria Police Force pending outcome of an ongoing internal investigation involving him.

Kyari, the Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team, was indicted by a US Court in California over alleged involvement in internet fraud of over a $1.1million by with Ramoni Abba aka Hushpuppi.

Kyari has since denied any involvement in the internet fraud case which victim was said to be a Qatari businessman.

But the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission, dated 31st July 2021, noted the recommendation for suspension of the officer is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the Force.

He said: “The suspension is also expected to create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel to carry out its investigations into the weighty allegations against DCP Abba Kyari without interference.

“The suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer.

“The suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer.”

A four- man panel has been set up by the IGP to investigate the FBI’s indictment.

The panel is expected to thoroughly review documents sent to the Police Force by the FBI.

A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba said: “The Special Investigation Panel (SIP), comprising four (4) Senior Police Officers, is headed by DIG Joseph Egbunike, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID).

“The SIP, inter alia, is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“The SIP is also to obtain a detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force Leadership on the matter.”

Published in Business and Economy

By Gbenga Bada/ THE NATION

BBNaija Shine Ya Eye housemates Sammie and Angel are fast taking their closeness to another height.

The feast declared by Biggie for the 22 housemates after winning their first wager task gave the two an opportunity to get all mushy and cozy in the jacuzzi.

The feast and the party had Sammie stuck like glue on Angel all through the night from the jacuzzi to the room.

Obviously happy for Sammie’s performance during the task, Angel seemed to enjoy every moment. Sammie, according to Biggie, deserved applause and an award for his brilliant performance in the task.

Several housemates were also spotted getting extra cozy as they huddled together.

Saga, and Nini, Pere, and Maria spent quite a while in the bathtub. The four housemates kept enjoying the moment with discussion, wines, and barbecue.

Not to be left in the fun is Emmanuel and Liquorose. The two were mostly in each other’s company all through the party.

Published in News & Stories

By Gbenga Bada/ THE NATION

One of the wildcards in the BBNaija Shine Ya Eye house, Pere, has continued to keep his true identity away from others.

The U.S.-trained Nurse has a firm bite on the prize money and not letting anything get on

his way.

Interestingly, a number of the housemates trust him so much that they keep opening up about their suspicions and he is even helping them search for the wildcards.

At different times, Pere maintains his cool and looks at other housemates straight in the eye, and nods away in agreement.

On Thursday night, during his Diary Session, Pere guessed that Maria or Nini could be the second wildcard because their Dairy Sessions preceded and followed his respectively.

Pere was able to make a simple guess because of the tricky hint that Biggie gave the Housemates who had been begging for a clue.

Pere comforted Maria who was a ball of nerves while the housemates were on the hunt for the wildcard.

‘Don’t worry, the lion will protect the cub,’ were his words to her, insinuating that he had it under control.

Published in Arts & Culture

By Adeniyi Adewoyin/ THE NATION

BBNaija Shine Ya Eye housemate, Liquorose has said she won’t start any relationship in the house.

She said this during a conversation with fellow housemates Yousef and Nini.

The mult-talented housemate said she prefers to be a spectator in the house than having any romantic relationship with other housemates.

“I don’t want to be in any relationship, I just want to be a spectator watching everything, everyone from afar,” she said.

“I don’t want to be involved in any of those relationship things,” she said.

Liquorose has been helping the housemates in their choreography and has also been one of the vocal housemates.

Published in Headliners

The FBI has the damning phone conversations and WhatsApp exchanges between Hushpuppi and Nigeria’s supercop, Abba Kyari.

The evidence clearly portrays his role as an accessory in the scamming of a Qatari businessman by Hushpuppi and gang.

Kyari on Thursday denied collecting any money from Hushpuppi, as compensation for arresting the fraudster’s partner Vincent Chibuzo.

But the court document has now exploded his lie.

The Inspector-General of Police Alkali Baba had seen the court record, making him to call for an “internal review”.

The tape is just too damning to extricate Abba Kyari as he is declared wanted by the FBI in connection with the $1.1 million scam.

Here is the full text of the conversation between Hushpuppi, full name Ramon Olorunwa Abbas and Kyari, as contained in the records of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

…On January 20, 2020, KYARI sent to ABBAS biographical, identifying information for CHIBUZO, along with a photograph of him. In a conversation immediately following, ABBAS confirmed “that is him sir.”

KYARI stated, “We have arrested the guy . . . He is in my cell now. This is his picture after we arrested him today.”

KYARI sent the biographical information about, and photograph of, CHIBUZO to ABBAS using two different WhatsApp numbers—the second of which KYARI said was his “private number.” From that point on, KYARI and ABBAS primarily discussed the arrest and detention of CHIBUZO through WhatsApp on this “private number.”

After receiving the photograph of CHIBUZO, ABBAS stated, “I want him to go through serious beating of his life.”

KYARI responded, “Hahahaha,” and ABBAS replied, “Seriously sir.” KYARI then asked for details about what CHIBUZO did “on audio,” which KYARI said was “So that we will know what to do.”

In response to KYARI’s question about what CHIBUZO had done to ABBAS, ABBAS sent KYARI an audio message, which is transcribed here, describing how CHIBUZO had tried to steal away a fraud victim (i.e., “the job”) from him.

“What he did is, I have one job. The job want to pay me 500, umm, 75,000 dollars [i.e., $575,000]. He went to message the job behind me because I told him to help me make one document for me to give the job. Then he went—he has a—I gave him the details. Then he went to message the job behind my back and try to divert the money and in this process, he tell the job because of the documents he gave me that I gave the job, he tell the job, “These document they sent to you before. These people are fake. This money—is me who can help you to get it. Come to me le—bring this money you want to pay these people to me. I’m the only one who can help you,” and all these things to divert the job for himself.”

After listening to the message, KYARI wrote, “Ok I understand [¶] But he has not succeeded.”

ABBAS claimed CHIBUZO had taken some money and provided KYARI with two screenshots, one of which contained the phone number 3054405586 (the phone number CHIBUZO used to contact the Victim Businessperson). The screenshots showed a person contacting the Victim Businessperson and stating that he was providing information to try to “help” the Victim Businessperson.

KYARI responded, “Yeah I understand.” KYARI did not request other information or evidence relating to CHIBUZO’s role in the scheme, ask questions about the nature of the transaction, or ask about why CHIBUZO told the Victim Businessperson that ABBAS was “fake.”

ABBAS then told KYARI, “Now the [Victim Businessperson] was skeptic to pay me the money cos he keep attacking the [Victim Businessperson] from his end. Now I can handle the [Victim Businessperson] correctly.”

ABBAS further told KYARI that he wanted to pay money to send CHIBUZO to jail for a long time, stating “Please sir I want to spend money to send this boy to jail, let him go for a very long time.”

KYARI responded, “Ok bro [¶] I understand [¶] I will discuss with my team who arrested him . . . And handling the case [¶] We will do something about it.”

ABBAS responded, “Let me know how I can send money to the team sir[.] let them deal with him like armed robber.”

KYARI responded, “OK I will send their account details to u.”

ABBAS further wrote, “He betray me and try to take food out my mouth, this is great punishable sin,” and KYARI responded, “Yeah bro.” ABBAS then continued, “I want him to suffer for many years.” KYARI responded, “Hahahaha [¶] Hahahaha.”

Approximately six minutes later, KYARI provided the account information for a bank account at a Nigerian bank, Zenith Bank, in the name of a person other than KYARI himself. ABBAS responded “Ok sir, tomorrow by noon,” indicating that he would make the payment to KYARI’s team by the next day.

On the same day, ABBAS sent JUMA the photograph of CHIBUZO in custody, which KYARI had sent.

Approximately a month later, on February 19, 2020, KYARI sent a message to ABBAS, saying, “Hello hush with [sic] need to talk about the subject under detention with me.”

ABBAS asked “Should I call u on this number sir?” to which KYARI replied, “Yes call me.”

The following day, KYARI sent ABBAS multiple photographs of CHIBUZO, including close-up photographs showing a rash or skin disease on CHIBUZO’s torso and arms. ABBAS responded, “I don pity am, make them leave am from Tuesday.”

KYARI wrote, “Ok bro, they just brought him from hospital. The fever and the rashes is giving him serious Wahala [¶] He got the disease from other suspects in the cell.”

ABBAS responded, “I see am, I no too pity am [¶] That’s what people like him deserve but I go forgive am for God sake.”

In other words, based on my training and experience with Nigerian Pidgin, ABBAS was essentially stating, in part, “I don’t pity him. That’s what people like him deserve, but I will forgive him for God’s sake.”

Based on the date of the messages and later discussion described in paragraph 150, ABBAS was—on Thursday, February 20, 2020— requesting that KYARI not release CHIBUZO until Tuesday, February 25, 2020.

ABBAS then told KYARI that CHIBUZO’s girlfriend messaged him, trying to raise one million naira to secure CHIBUZO’s release, and said ABBAS promised to contribute 100,000 Naira. KYARI stated “They were thinking it’s normal arrest that is why they think money can remove him . . . No money can remove him here [¶] Hahahaha.”

ABBAS added, “But it’s better for them to think that way, I like it like that,” and KYARI responded, “Yeah.”

ABBAS then said, “No problem sir from Tuesday he can go,” apparently giving KYARI his blessing to release CHIBUZO from custody.

KYARI responded, “Ok bro [¶] We will also keep his phone and other gadgets for some weeks.”

ABBAS responded, “Yes those ones they should not give him again, those ones are gone . . . Make he no see those ones again for life,” instructing KYARI not to return CHIBUZO’s electronic devices.

KYARI responded, “Yes he will not see it [¶] again,” indicating that he would accede to ABBAS’ request.

Published in News & Stories

By Dennis Erezi 30 July 2021 | 12:08 pm/ GUARDIAN.NG

There is little or nothing to celebrate for some Nigerian athletes who were at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after their dreams of performing at the World’s biggest sports games tumbled.

Nigerian athletes are protesting local authorities’ “incompetence” during preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.

Some Nigerian athletes, who were disqualified from participating in the Games, were seen on the streets of Japan on Friday expressing their anger against the sports administrators in their country.

Blessing Okagbare, one of Nigeria’s brightest hope in the games, is leading the pack of those speaking out against the apparent mismanagement.

“I have said it before and I will say it again. If you do not know the sport, not passionate about it/us (the athletes), then you have no business there as an administrator,” Okagbare said while reacting to the decision of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), an independent body created by World Athletics.

“The sport system in Nigeria is so flaw(ed) and we athletes are always at the receiving end of the damages.”

The country’s highest-ranking table tennis player Quadri Aruna is miffed at the country’s sports administrators’ treatment of athletes.

Aruna’s anger is evident in the three Instagram posts he posted on Friday. He claimed that he has been threatened to be expelled from Team Nigeria’s camp at the Olympics.

“Athletes were been short paid and nobody should complain,” Aruna said in one of the Instagram posts.

“If Honourable minister don’t (sic) come and address the athletes, these officials will spoil all the good things you have been doing.”

More Troubles for Nigeria
Ten Nigerian athletes were among 18 competitors from “high-risk” nations who have been barred from the Tokyo Olympics after failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition drug testing, World Athletics’ independent anti-doping arm said Thursday.

The Athletics Integrity Unit said the athletes concerned had failed to comply with rules introduced in 2019 requiring those from countries deemed to be at the highest risk of doping — so-called “Category A” nations — to undergo three no-notice out-of-competition tests in a 10-month period leading up to a major event.

Nigeria’s sports ministry said it “regrets the unfortunate development of 10 Nigerian track and field athletes not meeting the testing conditions of the Athletics Integrity Unit.

The sports ministry said it made “all necessary efforts…to bring the athletes to date with compliance to the WADA regulations by the Ministry.”

But Okagbare disagrees.

“They (administrators) were busy fighting over power, exercising their pride over Puma contract/ kits forgetting their major responsibility “THE ATHLETES”,” Okagbare said.

Aruna blamed the authorities for his early exit from the Olympics. Haruna crashed out in the third round after losing to Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi 2-4 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Tuesday, July 27.

“You wanted me to perform but you removed the coach that qualified me to the quarter-final in Rio games,” Haruna said in an Instagram post.

Recurring issues
The situation is not new to many Nigerian sportsmen and women who have been there for a while.

Earlier in the week, Nigerian defender Leon Balogun criticised the country’s sports authorities over the poor administration of the team.

His points of criticism of football administration in Nigeria – nonpayment of players, match bonuses, unorganised travel plans – are often identified as leading causes of underperformance by Nigerian teams in football and other sports.

Okagbare is disappointed that the same situation keeps happening over the years.

“It’s sad that this cycle keeps repeating itself and some people will come out to say I am arrogant for speaking my [sic] truth. It is my career,” Okagbare said.

Published in News & Stories
  • Ten Nigerian athletes will be sent home from the Tokyo Olympics after a drug testing mix-up.
  • The athletes weren't tested enough before flying to Japan, and were ruled ineligible by the IOC.
  • The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) took full responsibility for the mishap.

Ten Nigerian athletes will be sent home from the Tokyo Olympics after authorities "dropped the ball" and failed to administer enough drugs tests, it was revealed on Wednesday.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) ruled that the competitors, all of whom have already travelled to Japan, will be unable to take part in the Games because of non-compliance with out-of-competition drug testing requirements.

10 athletes from five other countries – Belarus, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, and Ukraine – have also been ruled ineligible to compete.

The AIU said that in the lead up to major sporting events, athletes from countries deemed to have the highest doping risk must undergo "at least three no-notice out-of- competition tests" across the span of three weeks in the 10 months leading up to the event.

The anti-doping framework is known as "Rule 15."

"Nigeria is the most affected country, not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 for 10 athletes," the AIU said.

"Nigeria was included in Category A at the start of 2020 following a continued period of weak domestic testing levels."

Rosemary Chukwuma celebrates after winning the women's 4x100m relay during the 21st African Senior Athletics Championship
Rosemary Chukwuma (R) at the 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship.
Getty/Pius Utomi Ekpe

Rosemary Chukwuma is one of the Nigerian athletes who has been sent home. Her coach, Wes Kittley, said the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), was to blame.

"The bottom line is the Nigeria federation just dropped the ball and didn't test those kids," he said, according to BBC Sport.

"It's just a terrible thing if they don't get to compete because the Nigerian federation never sent anyone to test them. Which will be unfortunate. My goodness."

The AFN itself agrees with Kittley, taking full responsibility for the ejection of its athletes.

"The AFN bears responsibility for any lapses that may have occurred during the process and reassures Nigerians that our performances will not be negatively impacted," the organization said in a statement, per BBC Sport.

"All our athletes resident in Nigeria and who qualified for the Olympic Games completed the three mandatory tests.

"Most of our top athletes resident in the USA also completed their tests. However, a few athletes in the American collegiate system were tested, but those tests were deemed not to have complied with WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) sample collection and analysis standards."

The AFN added that none of the athletes sent home had "tested positive to prohibited substances."

Published in News & Stories

By Ifeanyi Ibeh 30 July 2021 | 6:18 am/ GUARDIAN.NG

…It’s the first time two Nigerians will be racing in the 100m semis since 2012

For the first time since 2012, two Nigerian athletes will be running in the semifinals of the women’s 100m after Blessing Okagbare and Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha qualified from their respective heats Friday in Tokyo, Japan.

Nwokocha had to run a new personal best of 11.00 seconds to secure her qualification to the semis in what is her debut Olympic Games.

The 20-year-old has also moved into fifth in the Nigeria all-time list behind Okagbare (10.79), Glory Alozie (10.90), Mary Onyali (10.97), and Damola Osayomi (10.99.

The Nigerian-based athlete, who ran 11.09s personal best at the time, back in March, to secure her qualification for the Olympics at the MOC Grand Prix in Lagos, will, however, need to make further history by breaking the 11-second barrier to stand a chance of joining Onyali and Okagbare as debutants who ran to the final of the 100m event.

She has been drawn to run from lane nine in the third semifinal heat with the fastest woman alive, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, Daryl Neita of Great Britain, Teahna Daniels of the USA and fellow African, Muriel Ahoure, of the Ivory Coast.

While Nwokocha qualified for her first semifinal, Okagbare will be running in her third since she made her debut in the event at the 2012 Olympics in London.

The 32-year-old ran 11.05 seconds to win her first-round heat.

She has been drawn in the first semifinal heat alongside two heavyweights of the event, defending champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica, who ran 10.82s to win her first-round heat, and Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, the 200m world champion two years ago in Doha, Qatar, who ran 11.07s to come second in her first-round heat.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics long jump silver medallist will be in action at exactly 11.15 am Nigerian time on Saturday.

Published in Sports
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