Friday, 03 December 2021

Items filtered by date: February 2021

By Adebisi Ononuga/ THE NATION

An Ogba Magistrates’ Court, Lagos on Wednesday ordered a DNA test to be conducted on Oluwafifehanmi, the daughter of a Nollywood star, Ronke Odusanya.

The trial Magistrate, Ms. M. O. Tanimola, gave the order while ruling on an application brought before her court by Olanrewaju Saheed, the estranged lover of Odusanya.

The daughter of the estranged couple, was born in 2019.

The popular actress and the father of her child, Olanrewaju Saheed, also known as Jago, are currently in court for several reasons including the welfare and custody of their daughter.

During proceedings on Wednesday, Saheed, through his lawyer, requested the court to order a DNA test to ascertain the paternity of the child.

Shaeed’s application was based on the grounds of suspicion of alleged infidelity on the part Odusanya.

The actress and her lawyer agreed to the request on the condition that the DNA fees and other bills be footed by Saheed.

The actress’ lawyer also pleaded with the court to ensure it is a court-supervised DNA test.

Ms Tanimola, ruling, decided on an undisclosed hospital on Lagos Island for the test to be done, and for the results to be sent directly to the court.

She adjourned the case till March 31, for further hearing.

Published in Entertainment

By Alao Abiodun/ THE NATION

Nigerian Obinawanne Okeke has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for involvement in a computer-based intrusion fraud scheme that caused approximately $11 million in known losses to his victims.

“Through subterfuge and impersonation, Obinwanne Okeke engaged in a multi-year global business email and computer hacking scheme that caused a staggering $11 million in losses to his victims,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“Today’s sentence further demonstrates EDVA’s and FBI’s worldwide reach in vigorously pursuing justice on behalf of American victims and others and holding international cybercriminals accountable, no matter where they commit their crimes.”

According to court documents, Obinwanne Okeke, 33, operated a group of companies known as the Invictus Group based in Nigeria and elsewhere.

From approximately 2015 to 2019, Okeke and others engaged in a conspiracy to conduct various computer-based frauds.

The conspirators obtained and compiled the credentials of hundreds of victims, including victims in the Eastern District of Virginia.

As part of the scheme, Okeke and other conspirators engaged in an email compromise scheme targeting Unatrac Holding Limited, the export sales office for Caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment.

In April 2018, a Unatrac executive fell prey to a phishing email that allowed conspirators to capture login credentials.

The conspirators sent fraudulent wire transfer requests and attached fake invoices.

Okeke participated in the effort to victimize Unatrac through fraudulent wire transfers totaling nearly $11 million, which was transferred overseas.

Additionally, Okeke engaged in other forms of cyberfraud, including sending phishing emails to capture email credentials, creating fraudulent web pages, and causing other losses to numerous victims.

“The FBI will not allow cyber criminals free reign in the digital world to prey on U.S. companies,” said Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office.

“This sentencing demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to working with our partners at the Department of Justice and our foreign counterparts to locate cyber criminals across the globe and bring them to the United States to be held accountable.”

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.

Published in Headliners

Amid growing insecurity and tension pervading the land, Nigerians are understandably concerned about the 2023 general election: its feasibility, credibility, and whether their votes will count.

Necessarily, however, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other relevant agencies or organs of government must not relent in perfecting the election machinery to a reasonable level. It is true, as INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said, that amending the Electoral Act without a commitment from stakeholders to do things differently, cannot guarantee free and fair elections. Nevertheless, the first step of amending the law to plug loopholes for irregularities will be a huge step towards achieving free and fair elections in the country.

The proposals now sitting before the National Assembly are based on observations of previous elections, recommendations by critical stakeholders comprising security agencies, political parties/agents, domestic and foreign observers and members of the public. Nigerians have witnessed how politicians continue to take advantage of the loopholes in the current electoral legal framework, to exploit the process and truncate the will of the people. There is need for an electoral legal framework that will amongst other things, guarantee the autonomy of the Commission in the management and operations of its affairs, without the undue interference of the government of the day. The critical players involved in the passage of the amendment bill should appreciate its importance to the development of our democracy and should not allow themselves to be swayed by political sentiments.

But the INEC boss was succinct when he said: “The Constitution and Electoral Act can enhance the electoral process if the electoral management body, political parties and the electoral actors, the security agencies, the media and civil society organisations, effectively play their roles.” Indeed everyone has a role to play. Religious, traditional and community leaders should openly but sincerely speak out against violence, irrespective of the partisan leaning of the community. In the run-up to the 2020 governorship election in Edo State, many observers had feared that the process would be marred by violence owing to the acrimony between the major actors and that the ruling party might deplore its “federal might” to influence the election’s outcome. However, the process, though not perfect, was adjudged to be relatively fair, partly because critical stakeholders played by the rules.

The Commission plays perhaps the most critical role in the electoral process serving as both facilitator and regulator. Incidents of missing ballot sheets, late arrival of materials and other logistics such as last-minute postponement of elections only serve to discourage the electorate who already entertains a deep mistrust for the process. The lack of confidence in the system is largely responsible for the attitude of most Nigerians refraining from playing an active role of either voting for candidates of their choice or vying for political office. The Commission must thus ensure that adequate preparations are made for a smooth process.

Politicians on their part must understand that irrespective of their party affiliations, the common goal is the provision of good governance for the people. Election should never be a ‘‘do or die affair’’ and no aspirant is worth spilling blood for. Political positions are a call to service, not personal enterprises motivated by profits or bloody sports for which violent and fatal competitions are means. Experience has shown that arms provided for political thugs during elections, end up being tools for robberies and kidnappings after the election.

The idea of security agencies acting the script of political actors should no longer be counted in our polity. The nation currently faces perhaps its worst security challenges, and the Police as well as other security agencies need the trust of the people to enable them to carry out their services effectively. Recent #EndSARS protest, along with the violence that followed, is an expression of the dissatisfaction of Nigerians with Police operations. These security agencies must learn from the recent experience of the United States Presidential election, and commit themselves to their constitutional role and oath in the sustenance of democracy, rather than to any government official.

Nigerians must realise that ultimate power rests with the people, and the best way of exercising this power is through the electoral process. In spite of the number of intellectuals, men and women of integrity that straddle the various works in the country, Nigerians have had the misfortune of being led by persons of questionable characters who rob the nation of her commonwealth and put her development in reverse gear. This is because those who know better chose to disassociate themselves from the process thus leaving the political space to urchins. As the saying goes, evil triumph when good men do nothing in the face of tyranny. Nigerians must own the electoral process, first by acquiring their permanent voters’ card, turn out to vote on days of the election, and make sure that their votes count to elect a responsible and responsive government whose ultimate interest will be the security and welfare of the people.

Published in Parliament

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the Federal Government against further increase in fuel price in the country.

PDP said this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja on Saturday.

Ologbondiyan said that Nigerians were already faced with economic hardship following the November 2020 increase in the price of fuel to N170 per litre, adding that further hike in fuel price would worsen the situation.

He said that Nigerians might not survive a further fuel price increase with its attendant increase in cost of goods and services.

“This will worsen the current economic situation, where over 90 million citizen live in abject poverty, with an alarming 23 per cent unemployment rate and many more living below N500 a day,” he said.

He said there was no justication in comparing Nigeria’s fuel price with those of other countries whose citizens have better purchasing power.

“With a N30,000 monthly minimum wage, which represents N1,000 daily wage, compared to a countries like Saudi Arabia with a monthly minimum wage of 3,000 Riyals; a daily pay of100 Riyals (N10,161).

“There is no foundation to base fuel price in Nigeria with that of Saudi Arabian where citizens earn ten times higher.

“Our party therefore rejects any contemplation towards fuel price increase,” he said.

Published in Politics

Happy Valentine's Day from KissaApp, the online dating app. Find someone new today. Make new friends, meet new people and new connections on KissaApp, the online dating app. Website: Kissaapp.com

Published in News & Stories

BY MODUPEOLUWA ADEKANYE/ GUARDIAN.NG

Nassau County Police in New York has confirmed the death of 64-year-old Robert Maraj according to a report by TMZ.

Maraj was walking on a road in Mineola at about 6pm Friday when he was struck by a car heading northbound on Roslyn Road at the intersection with Raff Avenue, authorities said.

The driver fled the scene and has yet to be identified. Investigators have asked for the public’s help in tracking them down.

Maraj was rushed to a hospital, where he allegedly died.

Minaj, 38, has yet to comment publicly on her father’s death.

The tragic news comes four months after the Super Bass rapper welcomed her first child with husband Kenneth Petty.

The family has already had a tough year, after Minaj’s brother Jelani Maraj was sentenced to life in prison in January 2020 for raping an 11-year-old child.

Minaj has spoken about her relationship with her father on multiple occasions, often posting photos of the pair sharing loving embraces on social media.

Robert Maraj was of mixed Afro- and Indo-Trinidadian ancestry. He was from Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago.

When Minaj was a little girl living with her grandmother in Saint James, Robert and his wife, Carol Maraj, were living in America, looking for work and a house in Queens, New York City.

After finding a home, Minaj moved to Queens with her parents at the age of five.

Published in Entertainment

Kamaru Usman Sunday morning defeated Gilbert Burns to retain his crown as the undisputed welterweight champion at UFC 258.

The bout was expected to last the duration but Usman’s superior power saw him kick out Burns in the third round, leaving his ormer training partner and friend in tears and with at least a cut below the eye.

“This was a very, very tough one because of the whole gym situation,” Usman said. “You cannot disrespect what Burns has done. We started together and he showed it tonight.”

The fight did not start all too well for Usman as Burns piled on the pressure early. But the Nigerian Nightmare regained his composure and took control, delivering some heavy strikes that pushed his opponent to the brink.

With the knock out of Burns, Usman has now won 17 straight fights, including 13 in the UFC, eclipsing St-Pierre’s record winning streak in the welterweight division.

The victory also handed him a tie with Khabib Nurmagomedov for most consecutive wins to start his UFC career, behind only Anderson Silva, who has 16 straight wins.

Usman has now defended his title three times. The last time out, he went against Jorge Masvidal, who was drafted in after Burns pulled out of their schedule fight late after testing positive for coronavirus.

Published in Sports

Our Reporter/ The Nation

Borno State Governor Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, has approved the payment of N13.9 million and car gift to a 65-year old medical doctor from Ogun State, who lived within the General Hospital in Monguno and continued to offer healthcare services to patients even when the town was faced with the most severe threats by Boko Haram.

The doctor, Dr. Isa Akinbode, graduated from the University of Maiduguri and joined the Borno State Civil Service, where he served for 22 years before he retired in 2016 at Monguno General Hospital.

After his retirement, the doctor, despite reports that he was once abducted and released by Boko Haram in Monguno, remained at the General Hospital in Monguno to offer voluntary medical services. Then Governor Kashim Shettima, during one his visits to Monguno, directed officials of the state’s Ministry of Health to engage Akinbode as a contract staff. Due to bureaucratic procedures, officials at the ministry in Maiduguri, however, delayed formalising the doctor’s contract, even though he continued to serve.

Read Also: Zulum approves N624m for Borno students

Five years later, Governor Zulum, on Friday, directed that Dr. Akinbode be paid his accrued arrears of N13.9m based on the terms of the contract directed by the former governor in 2016. Zulum also directed that going forward, contracts should be formalised for monthly entitlements.

The governor also presented a Toyota Highlander as gift to Dr Akinbode for his services to the host people of Borno.

“These (people like Dr Akinbode) are the kinds of people that need to be encouraged. He lives in Monguno despite all the security problems. My predecessor had during his visit to Monguno directed that he should be engaged on contract basis; unfortunately due to some bureaucratic procedures, his reengagement has not been formalised. In fulfilment of the promise of my boss, I decided to re-engage him on contract basis retrospectively. We are paying all his entitlements/salary in arrears. I am giving him a cheque of N13.9m. I have also approved his reengagement from 2016, being the date of his retirement.” Zulum said.

Governor Zulum also approved the recruitment of Dr Akinbode’s daughter, who studied Public Administration at the University of Maiduguri, into the Borno State Civil Service.

Published in News & Stories

As the world celebrates St. Valentines Day, some women in Jos say they would prefer ”meaningful gifts” than receiving flowers, cards and chocolates, usually accepted as standard lovers’ day gifts.

A survey of both married and unmarried women also indicated their preference for spending quality time at home, than going out to fancy restaurants, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Valentine’s Day is a holiday when lovers express their affection for one another with greetings and gifts, and lately this had expanded to expression of affection between relatives and friends.

Other activities identified with the holiday, believed to have its origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February, is in simply spending time with loved ones and reading romantic Valentine’s Day quotes; or posting a Valentine’s Day caption on a cute couples social media photo.

Mrs Ajalah Omusa, said: “I don’t want any flowers for Valentine, it really doesn’t mean so much to me, flowers to me are not special, I want other gifts that I will see every day to remind me of the special day.

“I don’t get to receive gifts very often from my husband, so I will want something very special on a special day like Valentine,” Omusa said.

Mrs Amy Cassidy, on her part, said she would prefer to be pampered and would not mind getting a credit alert from her husband.

“I don’t want any flowers, I just want to be pampered at home like having dinner in bed and spending quality time with my husband, as we don’t get to do this all the time due to the nature of our jobs.

Mrs Gift Udom said she would prefer her husband taking the kids out on an outing, while she relaxes at home all by herself.

Udom said, resting at home, without the kids for some hours, would help her rejuvenate and also afford the kids the opportunity of spending quality time with their father.

She also noted that a credit alert would also brighten up her day and make her happy.

Miss Mary Izang, stated that she would prefer the roses to come with a proposal, than just roses and chocolates.

“Last year, my boyfriend bought me rose flowers and chocolates, we also hung out and I appreciated it, I would want the roses to come with something different.

“It will be romantic if he bought the flowers and hid a ring in it. We will go out later today, so I hope that happens,” a hopeful Izang said.

Some men who spoke to NAN, however, expressed displeasure on receiving no gift at all, while some stated they only received singlets and boxers all their lives.

“I will not stress myself too much about Valentine this year because I don’t get gifts at all, Jonathan Iliya said, adding, “I always do the buying and get a hug and a thank you at the end of the day, it should be reciprocal, that will make it beautiful”.

Mr Isaiah Badung, said women were fond of buying boxers and singlets for their men as Valentine gifts, a norm which he said should stop.

He stated that he would celebrate Valentine at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NAN observed in Jos, at the weekend, that several eateries, hang out spots and shopping centres were decorated in red with several shoppers queuing to buy gifts, while a few residents were spotted in red attires. (NAN)

Published in Arts & Culture

By Kazeem Ugbodaga/ PM NEWS

Popular comedian Debo Adebayo, also known as Mr Macaroni has narrated his experience after he and 39 others were arrested at the Lekki Tollgate, Lagos for protesting the re-opening of the toll plaza.

He said he and others were thoroughly beaten and stripped naked at the Adeniji Police Station where they were taken to after the arrest.

Macaroni, in series of videos on twitter, said his father and friends warned him against participating in the protest, but did not heed their calls.

“My father, my friends all called me and they said I should not go out and in all honesty I did not want to go out. The only reason I went there was that I wanted to be there. I knew people will die again and I saw it. I was at Lekki Phase 1 and I was about shooting, that is to tell you that I did not really want to go because I was scared.

“The situation we are in, in this country is dip shit, you cannot blame anyone. People are scared for their lives. Do you think I am not scared? People are scared for their lives. We are in a government that has zero value for human lives.

“I saw it with my eyes, when we were picked up, we were taking to Adeniji where we were beaten, stripped naked, everyone was beaten. It was the 39 people out there that gave me the ginger to go out, they are the true heroes and heroine. Have we got justice for what happen last year? And you want to open the tollgate.

“You over 200 policemen outside and does it mean you cannot guarantee peaceful protest? You are all irresponsible, we were beaten, it is serious war out there, these people don’t care, they will kill anybody. You cannot continue to oppress us,” he narrated.

Published in News & Stories
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