A fraudster identified as Tunde Martins has been sentenced to to seven years’ imprisonment for N30m fraud by Justice Josephine Oyefeso of the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, on Monday.
The convict had obtained the said sum as a loan from Diamond Bank Plc with a forged certificate of occupancy and refused to pay back.
His journey to prison began after he was arraigned alongside his company, Centre Global Limited by the Lagos Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2018 on three counts bordering on obtaining by false pretences, forgery and use of false documents, to which he pleaded not guilty.
During Martins’ trial, the prosecution counsel, Anita Imo, tendered several documents as exhibits and called five witnesses.
According to the Head of Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, Justice Oyefeso found Martins guilty of the offences on September 23, 2020, but deferred ruling to Monday, September 28, 2020.
Delivering her judgment, Oyefeso sentenced the convict to seven years’ imprisonment without an option of fine.
She also ordered that his company, Centre Global Limited, be wound up and all the money accrued from it remitted to Diamond Bank Plc.
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Following the conclusion of the Edo State governorship election where the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki was re-elected, Ondo State will no doubt be the next spot for political spectators and stakeholders as the governorship election in the state comes up on October 10, 2020.
With the political atmosphere of Ondo State already charged, headliners at the polls are Governor Oluwarotimii Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who is a seeking re-election; the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Eyitayo Jegede who lost to Akeredolu in 2016 as well a the Deputy Governor of the state, Agboola Ajayi who will be on the same ballot with his boss under the platform of Zenith Labour Party, ZLP.
During the forthcoming poll, the three frontline contenders will be representing each of the three senatorial districts, with Akeredolu from Ondo North, Jegede from the Central while Ajayi is from the Southern Senatorial district.
Oluwarotimi Akeredolu who is the incumbent governor of Ondo State emerged at the political scene of the state in 2012 when he won the governorship ticket under defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN which was part of the parties that metamorphosed into APC. Though, he lost to the immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko in 2012, he recontested for the ticket in 2016 which he eventually won with his subsequent victory at the polls.
With Akeredolu’s eyes set on the forthcoming polls, internal factors within APC that could hinder his re-election had been resolved with a faction within the party in the state known as ‘Unity Forum’ which had vowed to work against him during the electoral process, agreeing to sheath the sword in order for the party to win at the polls.
With less hurdles before him, Akeredolu looks set and prepared to defeat the two other contestants during the election.
Apart from the power of incumbency, coupled with his financial wherewithal, one of the factors that will also aid the chances of Akeredolu in the contest will be the unwritten zoning arrangement of the politics of the state.
According to some political sentiments and narratives across the state, Akeredolu who hails from the Northern Senatorial district should be allowed to complete his eight years in office after his predecessor, Mimiko who is from the central had spent eight years.
Also, the infrastructural strides of Akeredolu in the state in the last three and half years will likely give him edge above his rivals.
But working against him, is his fight with his Deputy Governor, Ajayi Agboola, which has further divided stakeholders. The Agboola’s factor has further cast doubt on Akeredolu’s expected victory.
It’s also a popular notion among political stakeholders that Akeredolu is not carrying them along in the scheme of things. Some have, however, said that his hands are tight in relation to giving.
Just like Governor Akeredolu, the candidate of the PDP, Eyitayo Jegede is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
Jegede who was the 2016 PDP governorship candidate came second at the polls after losing to Akeredolu.
According to political pundits, the scenario that played out in 2016 when it was argued that it’s not yet the turn of the Central Senatorial District to produce a governor might repeat itself again.
However, the people of Akure where Jegede hails from seem to be more committed to the ambition of their son eyeing the governorship seat, unlike in 2016 when they voted for Akeredolu as against their son with Jegede winning in two out of 18 local governments.
Also, shortly after the primaries of the PDP which was held on July 22, the party was hit with crisis following accusations that Jegede sidelined members and leaders of the party over his choice of running mate, particularly the muscling out of the incumbent Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi out of the party which was said to have forced Ajayi to join the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP.
With the development, most of the aspirants who contested alongside Jegede during the primary are no longer with him as some of them are either backing Akeredolu or Ajayi.
Among the PDP aspirants, only Jegede was from the Central Senatorial District while five were from the Southern Senatorial district with one from Ondo North.
Also, Jegede’s fallout with Mimiko who’s his political benefactor will no doubt affect his chances at the polls particular in the stronghold of Mimiko in Ondo West and Ondo East Local Governments which happened to be the only two council areas where Jegede won in 2016.
With the resolve of the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi to contest the polls under the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, political observers have described the move as an entrance of a third force into the governorship race.
Before joining ZLP, Ajayi had short foray in the PDP where he lost the party’s ticket to Jegede.
After his fallout with his boss, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the deputy governor dumped APC following months of frosty relationship.
With his political experience, Ajayi will no doubt give both Governor Akeredolu and the PDP candidate a run for their money at the polls.
Following the move of Ajayi to ZLP, aggrieved APC members as well as those in the PDP were harvested into the fold of ZLP.
Among the three contestants, Ajayi is the most experienced politician going by his political background.
Looking at the profile of Ajayi, he started as political party’s secretary in his ward. Later, he became Supervisory Councillor and a Caretaker Chairman.
At a stage, he was the chairman of a party, later he became elected Chairman of the Council in 2004. In 2007, he was elected into the House of Representatives and in 2016, he was elected Deputy Governor.
Being from the Southern Senatorial district might also be an advantage for Ajayi during the polls as many had been advocating that it’s the turn of Ondo South to produce the next governor.
The Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has urged Olamilekan Agbeleshe, self-styled ‘Laycon’ who is the winner of the 2020 edition of the Big Brother Nigeria reality TV show, , to pay his tax.
LIRS made this known in a tweet on Monday, September 28, while congratulating him on his victory.
“Congratulations @itsLaycon winner @BBNaija Lockdown edition. More wins!! We look forward to seeing you in Y2021 as you #payyourtax,” it tweeted.
Laycon emerged the winner of the 2020 edition of the Big Brother Naija reality TV show, on Sunday, after 71 days of live entertainment.
Laycon got 60 per cent of the total votes cast by viewers to beat fellow housemate, Dorathy Bachor, who got about 21.65 per cent of the votes.
Both contestants were among the five finalists, including Nengi, Neo and Vee, that made it to the grand finale of the show, out of a total of 20 housemates.
For winning the show, Laycon got N30m in cash. He will also receive various gifts and incentives valued at N55m.
They include an all-expense-paid trip to Dubai for two, a two-bedroom apartment, a Sport Utility Vehicle from Innoson Motors, a Scanfrost electronic makeover, one year supply of Pepsi Cola, one year supply of Munch It and Indomie noodles and VIP tickets to watch the European Champions League final.
— Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) (@lirsgovng) September 28, 2020
Some Anambra indigenes have endorsed the Chief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to run for Nigeria’s presidential elections in 2023.
Indigenes of Alor community in Idemili South local government area of Anambra State, made this appeal to Kalu during the funeral service of late Chief Mrs. Priscilla Mary Ejiakardo Amolue at the home of Dr Chris Ngige, Minister for Labour and Employment.
While receiving Kalu, the indigenes held a peaceful procession at the palace of the traditional ruler of Alor , His Royal Highness Igwe MacAnthony Elibe Okonkwo, bearing placards with various inscriptions pleading with Kalu to run for office of the President in the 2023 general elections.
According to Vanguard, sources close to the Senate Chief Whip revealed that the former Governor who was expected to pay a courtesy call to the traditional ruler had on a tip off from the state security services about the procession, immediately reschudeled his visit to the traditional ruler to a new date.
Others who attended the funeral include; were former Chairman Independent Democrats, Hon Edozie Madu; Senator Uche Lilian Ekwunife of Anambra Central ; Hon. Mascot Uzor Kalu ; Chief Chidozie Nwankwo, Barr. Sylvester Okonkwo , Hon. Osita Chidoka , Hon. Madukwe Ukaegbu and Hon. Chibuike Jonas .
With his entourage , Kalu proceeded to the home of Chief Chidozie Nwankwo in Oko where he was entertained by the astute business mogul and chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC).
Niger state government has ordered all teachers to return as its schools is set to reopen on October 4 for the 2019/2020 third term session.
Teachers are to return to their respective schools from Tuesday 29th September to commence preparations for the reopening.
The state Commissioner for Education, Hajia Hanatu Salihu, stated this during a stakeholders meeting on resumption of non-exit classes of the basic and secondary schools.
She said all second term examinations conducted under duress are canceled.
The commissioner said all basic and post-basic classes would resume on the same day using platooning model.
“JSS 1 and 2 are to attend morning classes and SS 1and 2 would attend evening classes. Public primary school schools 1-3 would attend morning classes while primary 3-6 would attend evening classes.
All schools must operate in line with Covid19 Protocols, she stressed.
Nigeria’s actual electricity generation has only increased by 776 megawatts since the privatisation of the power sector in 2013.
The distribution and generation assets were sold to core investors in November 2013 when the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was unbundled.
According to historical generation data from November 1, 2013, to August 31, 2020, seen by TheCable, the average generation in 2013 was 3,183MW.
It increased to 3,959MW in 2020.
However, the electricity generation capacity which was 4,214MW in 2013 has increased to 8,169MW in 2020.
“The supply growth from pre-privatisation to date shows that available generation capacity which was 3,427.5MW has increased by 138.34% to 8,169MW (as GenCos recovered 4.741.5MW),” the document stated.
“However, due to system constraints, the generated power is rejected or forced to be reduced to match the infrastructure that transmits and distributes this power to the customer. A case in point: Between January to August 2020, despite an available generation capacity of 8.169MW, GenCos were only allowed to generate 3,959MW, thus losing an average of 4.210MW daily.
“It is imperative to note that the wellbeing of a power generation company goes beyond efficient operations to include its ability to generate income from power generated. With a total available installed generation capacity of more than 8,000MW and maximum wheeling capacity of not more than 5, 500MW, there will always be a recurring instance of over 2,500MW idle generation.”
According to the document, the idle generation means that GenCos have not been able to recoup their investment and this will affect their ability to support operations and service loans taken to develop the power plants.
“Out of the meagre 5,500MW of transmission wheeling capacity, the DisCos have not proven to be able to distribute more than 4,500MW, continuously leaving vet another 1,000MW of generation capacity unutilized,” it said.
This means that the GenCos are unable to deploy a total of 3,500MW that would ensure profitable operations “due to the combined technical incapacitation of TCN and the DisCos”.
“If one considers the fact that the DisCos have in the recent past been operating around 3,500MW or below, this figure escalates to 4,000MW of idle capacity. In effect, the GenCos are not able to deploy over 4,000MW of idle power.
“Out of the over 4,000MW wheeled by TCN, in Q1 2020, the DisCos only remitted an average of 20 percent (800MW) of this power as revenue to NBET, making a total at 7,200MW generation capacity not yielding revenue for the GenCos.”
According to the document, GenCos are currently being sustained by subsidy from the federal government and other affiliations adding that “any government that subsidizes 75-80 percent of distributed power is yet to come to terms with the tenets of privatization”.
DisCos began implementation of a cost-reflective tariff on September 1, 2020.
However, it was suspended for two weeks on Monday as part of resolutions to prevent an impending strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress.
Let us take a deep breath as we wade through the content of this piece. It is not as controversial as the impulse from the headline would make you think. There is really nothing new in what is being said here that is not readily acknowledged by most decent people up and down this blessed land called Nigeria. Thus, rather than courting controversy, the piece is aimed at jolting the populace out of their persistent vegetative state. A shock treatment designed to awaken us out of an alarmingly dangerous slumber. A re-statement of an unpalatable truth capable of injecting some sobering thoughts into our collective, felonious acquiescence. And, a cold syrup capable of reawakening the boundless energy in us at least for the day. Like the incompetent British generals who led the infantry to defeat in World War I, modern-day Nigerians are lions led by donkeys. This is principally because we are fixated too much on primordial loyalties: ethnic and clannish origins of our leaders, and would-be leaders; their taste and social mores, almost to the exclusion of their purpose and priorities in public office. In aggregate, the loyalties are to the mainstream Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, but more generally, it goes much deeper from intra-tribal cleavages, to the reification and amplification of communal ‘otherness’.
The ethnic animus felt across the divide masks the myth of homogeneity people assume of themselves. The Yoruba would not see how hopelessly myopic their sense of self truly is, until there is an attempt at concretising the much vaunted “Od’ua Republic”, then, they start realising themselves as “Ibadan”, “Lagos”, “Ondo”, “Ekiti” etc, who do not wish to be under the dominance of the ‘other’. Neither the Igbo would know who the true Igbo are until there is a similar attempt at rebuilding the “Biafra Republic”, then, see whether Delta, for instance, or Port Hacourt, consider themselves Igbo or not. The Hausa would not find out their fragile cohesiveness until they try asking whether their own fiefdom extends beyond the River Niger, and until the Hausa-Fulani question is resolved beyond doubt. All that seems to matter is whether “our guy” (in aggregate terms) is at the helm of affairs; my turn, our turn to ‘chop’; to lay a claim to our own salami-sliced portion of the meat. Whether the “guy” eventually goes on to act against the fundamental interest of his ethnicity is a moot point. In other words, given a choice between a lion and a donkey for a leader, the ethnic rosette on their lapels and the one most likely to facilitate the ‘chop’, wins the day. To be brutally frank, no one goes into public service in Nigeria for nation-building. Why? Because there is neither the reward nor incentive so to do.
Now, how many times have we been told of this or that group of ‘concerned’ citizens coming together to form a political platform and it fizzled out? Nigeria has no shortage of brilliant minds to occupy every level of governance in this country and across the whole of West Africa combined. Why then do we not see them joining government in droves? Because their ideas are out of sync with the desires and priorities of the powerbrokers at the table. Is this the same as saying there are no brilliant minds in government as of today? Surely not. There is not enough of them to make the critical difference. The few that make it through the door see themselves heavily constrained and restrained by forces beyond their control. How is it then that Western democracies manage to infuse brilliant minds into the echelons of power both in politics and in industry, we might ask? Because their societies have an advanced system of social stratification, where the elites destined for high positions tread a clear path. They know what primary/secondary schools and university to attend and, subsequently, where to look for internship and their first career break. Consequently, top personnel in the civil service, politics and industry self-reproduce (through birth, recruitment criteria, and the old school network), so much that they have sufficient recruits in their ranks, across the board, to keep each other’s corrupt instincts in check. This is the magic of the corrupt(less) Western political stability. We do not have the luxury of a settled class hierarchy we can superimpose on our flailing political system to serve a similar purpose.
For us, therefore, it is anything goes, effectively. “Chop and let chop” becomes the norm; the lowest common denominator for the participants in the corridors of power. It is a starker dichotomy than that of the Western democracies. Class mobility is notoriously difficult if not impossible within our own society. At the top end is a tiny few; the oligarchs with 95% of the resources, and at the bottom end is the majority, almost 90% feeding on crumbs from the high table. There is virtually nothing at the middle. In other words, it is statistically insignificant. Based on this, therefore, you would imagine that if any society was ripe for a revolution, it would be right here, at home, but still nothing even close in the air. Why? Well, time and space would not permit us to address that thorny issue in detail here and now. But, quite simply, we are a nation of infinite time to burn; of a better tomorrow; a turn-the-other-cheek lot; a delayed gratification dreamers, and a reward-in-heaven pacifists. So, we say, long rein the donkeys!