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61  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / 15-year-old admits killing husband over N1,000 on: 21-12-2010 09:17 AM
15-year-old admits killing husband over N1,000

A 15-year-old girl, Esther Moses, broke down in tears before an Osogbo magistrate’s court on Monday when she admitted stabbing her husband, David Moses, to death during an argument over N1,000.

The teenager, who appeared before a Magistrate, Mr. Olalekan Ijiyode, was accused of killing her husband at 9am on November 19, 2010 in Arike Village, Ilesa, Osun State.

When asked by Ijiyode why she stabbed her husband, the suspect said she did not realise that it would lead to his death.

She said her husband took N1,000 belonging to her, recalling that she had warned him to return her money before they began fighting.

According to the charge sheet, the alleged offence was contrary to Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Volume II, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2003.

The mother of two was not represented by a lawyer during the proceedings.

She said the family of her husband had turned against her and her children as a result of the incident. She said her inlaws had refused to take custody of the children, forcing her family to care for them.

The court could not take her plea because magistrate courts have no jurisdiction over murder cases.

Ijiyode, who cautioned the suspect against acting in anger in future, advised persons present in court to learn a lesson from her predicament.

The magistrate advised the suspect to get a lawyer to represent her during her trial at the Osogbo High Court.

He ordered that Esther be remanded in Ilesa prison and later adjourned the case till February 23, 2011, for mention.

62  Forum / Politics / Jonathan goes spiritual on Endorsement on: 19-12-2010 04:36 AM

I am your sitting president, pray for me so that I will not deviate from the fear of God... -President Goodluck Jonathan kneeling before Pastor Enoch Adeboye at the Holy Ghost Congress on Friday night. Photo: State House

Jonathan goes spiritual on insecurity

Nigerian President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan has admitted that natural and acquired intellect, strategic plans and formidable defence were altogether insufficient to tackle the alarming rate of insecurity in the nation, except by divine intervention.

The president assured that his government would employ all means to ensure that the alarming incidents of kidnapping and threat to lives and property in Nigeria became a thing of the past, before the end of the first half of next year.

President Jonathan, while speaking at the just concluded annual Holy Ghost Congress of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, on Friday night, held at the Redeemed Camp, Lagos- Ibadan Express Road, reiterated that his government was committed to phasing out kidnapping in Nigeria and assured the people on security of lives and property ahead of next year’s general elections.

He stated that his government was aware that there would be no meaningful economic development in Nigeria if incidents of kidnapping persisted.

“I promise you that we will do everything to phase out kidnapping in Nigeria by the first half of next year, this is because there cannot be any development in a nation with high rate of kidnapping. Nobody will want to do business where there is no safety.

“Safety in Nigeria is the priority of our government, just pray for us that God should give us wisdom. We will work hard against robbery; we are committed to tackling corruption and mismanagement of public funds and we are also committed to education development. But I must tell you that none of these will work if God is not there for us. Pray that God should guide us.

“It is only God that can help me to change things. Pray for me now that I am the sitting president of your country. Pray for me not to deviate from the fear of God,” the president stated.

Speaking on the 2011 general elections, President Jonathan, who enjoined Nigerians to pray against any self- imposed leader at all levels, stressed that the stability and expected meaningful development in Nigeria could only come with the emergence of true leaders in the coming elections.

“I have discovered that whenever the country is drifting, Christians will always rise to pray and ensure stability. I am here tonight to submit myself to you and God for prayers. My political history was just like that of David in the Bible who did not know that he would become a king. I did not struggle for political position, it is never my efforts, that is why, anything I have to do, I do with the fear of God. Therefore, pray for me not to drift from His fear,” he said.

Based on his request, president Jonathan knelt down before the congregation and he was prayed for at the Holy Ghost Congress.

While commending Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the church, President Jonathan, who was attending the programme for the first time in its 13 years of existence, noted that when he visited the pastor in 2007 in company of his late boss, Musa Yar’Adua, “he prayed for us and all he told us came to pass.”
63  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Nigerian John Abraham Godson is first black Legislator in Poland on: 14-12-2010 02:37 PM

John Abraham Godson, a Polish citizen born and raised in Nigeria, has been sworn in as the first black member of Poland's parliament.

Mr Godson had served as a councillor in the city of Lodz before taking up a parliamentary seat, vacated by a party colleague after local elections.

His entry into parliament has created a media stir in the mainly white country.

He came to Poland in the 1990s, opening an English-language school and working as a pastor in a Protestant church.

He has since married a Polish woman and the couple have four children.
Beaten up twice

A member of the centre-right Civic Platform party, he was appointed to the seat vacated by party colleague Hanna Zdanowskaafter after she became mayor of Lodz.

It is still quite rare to see black people even in the Polish capital Warsaw, Poland's most cosmopolitan city, the BBC's Adam Easton reports.

Racism is still a problem in Poland, where it is not uncommon for well-educated people to make racist jokes, our correspondent says.

Mr Godson was beaten up twice in the early 1990s but he says attitudes to black people in Poland are changing for the better, particularly since the country joined the EU six years ago.

Speaking earlier to Polish radio, Mr Godson said: "I am from Lodz, I will live here, I want to die here and I want to be buried here."
64  Forum / Politics / I Know My Father, Do You Know Your Father? Fayose To Obasanjo on: 6-12-2010 07:35 PM
I Know My Father, Do You Know Your Father? Fayose To Obasanjo

Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose late Sunday afternoon in Okuku, Osun State poured his venom on former President Olusegun Obasanjo inside the Okuku, Osun State residence of sacked Osun State Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

A source that witnessed the incident told THEWILL that Fayose was angered when Obasanjo passed a comment calling him a rascal who has no respect for elders including casting aspersions on Fayose's paternity.. In response to Obasanjo’s perceived rude comments, a visibly charged Fayose responded in Yoruba saying: “Mo mo baba mi, Se o mo baba e”, meaning “I know my father do you know your Father.”

It is speculated in political circles that former President Obasanjo’s father hailed from one of the eastern states.

The event was a thanksgiving lunch/reception hosted by Oyinlola after a church service at St. Michaels Anglican Cathedral, Okuku, to celebrate his seven and half years in office before his sack by a Federal Court of Appeal in Ibadan, Oyo State a few weeks ago.

Our source said Fayose walked into the a sitting room where Oyinlola and guests including former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida; Governor Gbenga Daniel (Ogun); Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala (Oyo) and Youth Development Minister, Akinlabi Olasunkanmi amongst other dignitaries were being entertained. While he was exchanging pleasantries with Akala who was elated to see him, Obasanjo spoke loudly in Yoruba asking Fayose why he did not salute him and called him ‘Omo ale’, meaning ‘a bastard’ or 'an illegitimate child.'

“Fayose ignored baba’s earlier comments but was infuriated when baba called him a bastard. He insulted Obasanjo and just would not stop, the atmosphere was charged. It was Oyinlola, Akala and others present that appealed to Fayose to calm down,” the source said, adding that Obasanjo was shocked and embarrassed.

Recall that Obasanjo allegedly orchestrated the removal of Fayose as Ekiti State Governor before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detained and charged him for allegedly misappropriating Ekiti government funds.

You must have followed the charge made by boss of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido, that 25 per cent of Nigeria's revenue goes to the 109 senators and 360 House of Representatives' members, that is 469 persons, in the National Assembly. That is to say that whatever you have there as Nigeria's revenue, one quarter goes to 469 men, while the rest 150 million of us share the rest.

And it also goes with the legislators asking for more, bullying the executive, agencies of government, ministries and parastatals, to give way, so legislators could lay their hands deeper into the coffers of the nation.

Well, the other time, when I reviewed a similar development, one of the MPs called to say that he was sure I was being jealous. But he failed to erase the fact that the MPs, doing nothing as it is now, giving nothing to Nigerians, churning out one embarrassing incident after another, signposting their gluttony, and repeatedly acting like the typical drunken parliament, Nigerians are still amiss on what value they have added. He got more furious at me.

As always the case, NASS officials are screaming blue murder, calling for the heads of Sanusi, talking about summoning him and threatening hell and hell-fire if there was no immediate retraction. Isn't this democracy any more?

Since we all accept that Sanusi, an authority on money matters, could not have spoken at the drop of the hat, why not pray he elaborates on what he brought on the front burner? Or has our NASS become a sacred institution, a deity sort of, that nobody can dare question it without being regarded as blaspheming? That is delusory.

In a way, the chieftains of NASS may think they have presented what stood as the fireproof truth by inundating Nigerians with the claim of less than five per cent of the national income. Even at that, five per cent for a few hundreds against 150 millions is, indeed, outrageous.

So, they have not achieved anything. We know about such funds, which they claim are not personal, can be, and indeed, are hidden, under projects and constituency bla…bla…bla, to deceive Nigerians.

If NASS men think they can convince Nigerians on their real incomes and how they affect the national purse, let them tell us the source of the funds they apply, as in the case of one NASS member buying hundreds of motorcycles for some constituents on the approach of elections. The other time, one bought a brand new 406 Peugeot car for each of his coordinators, in six of the local government areas in his district. The other distributed over 700 electricity-generating sets (though the 'I pass my neighbour' type), while another arrived his constituency with two container loads of hair clippers.

The very annoying thing is that these are drawing these huge takes, doing nothing and keeping mute as governors who swim in unspeakable excess crude revenues have refused to pay university teachers so that Nigerians would be educated.

It is actually a wonder, as it is laughable, watching the distinguished senator sweat as he denied that he and his colleagues were not fleecing Nigeria .

But he didn't need to do that. We know the truth. We know that what they give is typical statistics. Like bikini, it shows what has to be shown and hides what has to be hidden.

As they do this, they forget that they work with civil servants; those smooth men who mumble and smile as if they want to cry.

They are in the trade they know so well, far better than the distinguished senators and reps can comprehend, and they will always tell.
66  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Behold! the richest pastors in Nigeria on: 6-12-2010 05:59 AM
Behold the richest pastors in Nigeria!

The common saying, ‘As poor as a church rat’ is fast losing its proverbial essence, given the assets churches and their leaders parade today. To disprove the saying, Opeyemi Adesina, Tayo Salami

and Chika Morkah, using additional Internet sources, identify four Nigerian pastors who are not only rich but are setting the pace in the art of wealth creation and business management.

They labour in the Lord’s vineyard, yet they are stupendously rich. That statement aptly captures the monetary worth of some pastors plying the gospel of Christ in Nigeria today. Not a few people will marvel at the value of the estates and earthly possessions on which they sit and superintend. Although they are many in the wealth circle, four of them clearly stand out, given their carriage, life styles, investments and popularity. Not many will fault the likes of Bishop David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo of Kingsway International Christian Centre, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy, and Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua of Synagogue Church of All Nation as the ‘Big Four’ among several other affluent ministers of God.

It may pose a surprise that a few others who are head-to-head, or even heads above these four are not included, it is for no other reason than that their churches are more institutional and non-hereditary as churches of these four are likely to be. It’s on that ground that Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, in particular, is not included.

Bishop David Oyedepo

Based on the parameters earlier listed, the richest pastor in Nigeria can be said to be the President and Founder of the Living Faith World Outreach Ministry, aka Winners Chapel, Bishop David O. Oyedepo. The church has the largest worship centre in the country, a 50,000-seat auditorium located at Canaanland, Ota, Ogun State.

Bishop Oyedepo is reported to own two private jets (Gulfstream 1 & Gulfstream 4), a Rolls Royce phantom among other luxury cars, an expensive university (Covenant University), a massive church auditorium, over 1000 branches locally and internationally. He’s also reported to be collecting through his church an average tithe income of 30 million Naira per Sunday (excluding offerings and other levies), franchises including literatures, e.t.c.

Whenever he or Faith, his wife is going out in the town, either separately or together, they usually go out with a convoy of vehicles and blaring of siren to beat the traffic. The couple like riding in posh jeeps with one or two vehicles in front and a similar number of cars following the one occupied by either of them.

Although the Winners’ Chapel is one of Africa’s fastest-growing Pentecostal churches, Oyedepo is often invited for crusades by other churches. He has a global vision of evangelism and has taken the gospel outside the shores of Nigeria, which have yielded a lot of financial rewards. “Your financial revolution is tied to what you do with your finances on the gospel,” he often tells his congregation.

As part of his outreach programmes, Oyedepo acquired a multi-million naira aircraft in 1996 to facilitate his evangelism programmes to countries outside Nigeria. This earned him the appellation “Jet-Age pastor”. He believes he is sent to a generation and not just a denomination to work signs and wonders. He established the Covenant University in Ota, Ogun State, thereby using his wealth for the promotion of tertiary education in Nigeria.

Prophet T. B. Joshua

Temitope Balogun Joshua, born June 12, 1963 and commonly referred to as T. B. Joshua, is the founder of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), a Christian organisation headquartered in Ikotun, Lagos State. A Christian pastor, humanitarian and author, Joshua broadcasts Christian televangelism via SCOAN’s Christian television station Emmanuel TV, and on the Internet via the Streaming Faith Broadcast Portal. His sprawling church building on Ikotun/Egbe Road is reported to worth billions of naira.

Joshua is said to have started a church with just a handful of members, naming it ‘The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations’—a name he says God divinely revealed to him. Since then, the church has grown far beyond the shores of Nigeria . More than 15,000 members attend the weekly Sunday service, and visitors from outside Nigeria are accommodated in the church facilities.

From the very first service held in 1987 to the present day, the church has been controversial due to reports of miraculous signs and wonders that occur every week.

The church currently has branches in Ghana, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Greece. He is also mentoring many evangelists from around the world in the church premises, saying: “The biggest reward God can give to His servant... is to make disciples who will do better than what we are presently doing.”.

‘Another Ministry’ is the humanitarian arm of SCOAN, with projects catering to the needs of widows, dwarfs, the elderly, physically challenged, orphans and the destitute. The church provides scholarships to orphans and children of the less privileged, with educational support promised from primary to tertiary levels. There is also a rehabilitation programme for armed robbers and prostitutes.

Often, the church financially supports them to secure a practical vocation. During his 45th birthday on June 12, 2008, T. B. Joshua made a large donation to the less privileged. Joshua has also provided scholarships for numerous physically challenged students and sponsored many physically challenged athletes. He is known to help people, irrespective of faith or denomination.

Joshua recently floated a football club ‘My People FC’ as part of his efforts to help the youth, the young team already making a mark on the Nigerian football scene. Already, three players have been sponsored abroad to play professional football in Sweden.

Two players from My People FC played for Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets in the last FIFA U-17 World Cup,were raised at Synagogue. Sani Emmanuel, who was raised in The SCOAN and worked as an altar boy, was Nigeria’s top-scorer and the tournament’s MVP, winning the Golden Ball and Silver Shoe. Emmanuel and his colleague Ogenyi Onazi have since expressed plans to have a foundation to help other less privileged youths, where ‘every proper means will be used to discover the talented’.

At a thanksgiving service in The SCOAN held after the cadet World Cup, Golden Eaglet’s goalkeeper, Dami Paul, also testified to receiving healing through Joshua’s prayers before the tournament’s commencement.

Pastor Chris Oyakhilome

Chris Oyakhilome, Pastor of Believers’ LoveWorld Incorporated otherwise called Christ Embassy Church, is not only winning souls but has built an expansive business empire from which he is making huge amount of money.

His church headquarters is a magnificent glass building. Its blue and gold colours stand it out in the crowd of old buildings on Oregun Road, Ikeja, Lagos. The building which is a few poles away from the old Suzuki Motorcycle assembly plant glitters like the corporate headquarters of a progressive new generation bank.

Chris Oyakhilome, the Edo State-born pastor, runs the branches of the church and his other businesses from there. The church has provided for Oyakhilome a good platform for his other business interests which include banking, publishing, broadcasting, entertainment and the hospitality industries.

A normal Sunday service at the headquarters draws not less than 30,000 worshipers. Most of them come from distant parishes of the church and the attraction is Oyakhilome himself who they all want to see live on the pulpit.

Oyakhilome belongs to the growing clan of pastors who preach prosperity but he is better known for his miracles which are very controversial. Even then, they have remained the source of his popularity and the huge fortunes that he has made.

The church operates like a conglomerate with no fewer than 10 subsidiaries that work with the common goal of oiling the purse of the ministry and its patron.

The major money spinning arms of the ministry includes LoveWorld Cyber Ministry, LoveWorld Television, Love World Christian Network, LoveWorld Multimedia Ministry and LoveWorld Publishing Ministry.

One business enterprise run by the church is the LoveWorld Records Limited located in Ikeja. It was incorporated in 2008 as a private limited liability company to carry on the business of music, entertainment and gospel merchandise. The Christ Embassy recording studio operates a distribution network that facilitates the selling and marketing of records within and outside Nigeria.

His group’s investments in the media include Minaj Broadcasting International, MBI; Superscreen television; National Standard, a monthly magazine; National Daily, a weekly newspaper; and a cable television network known as Loveworld Media.

The satellite television is based in South Africa and it is a free-to-air-no subscription channel. It was set up primarily for the purpose of the church evangelism.

Superscreen television station, owned by Oyakhilome, occupies the seventh floor of Lagemo House at Onipanu area of Lagos. The television which began operation in 2007, boasts of state of the art broadcast equipment. .

Majority of staff of the television station are members of Christ Embassy. The television station serves as the media arm of the church, especially because it routinely telecasts church programmes of Christ Embassy.

In pursuit of the church’s craze for publicity and in spite of huge investments in the broadcast media, Christ Embassy again set up its sole private television station called Loveworld News Media. The studio is located within the church headquarters and is said to operate a 12-hour daily service airing church programmes.

National Standard hit the news-stands in July 2004 as a monthly glossy magazine. Its first office was at Plot 2, Ajumobi Street, off ACME Road, Agidingbi, before relocating to 25 Ogunlowo Street, off Adeniyi Jones, where it is at the moment. Today, the publication has gone weekly. Its sister publication, National Daily, which is a weekly tabloid, is located on Emina Crescent, off Toyin Street, Ikeja. Paradigm Communications Limited oversees the publication of the papers for Oyakilome’s business empire. The church’s investments in these media enterprises alone is put at more than N5 billion.

Global Plus printing press is another investment of the pastor. The hi-tech ultra modern press is located along Ikosi Road, Oregun, Ikeja. Monthly financial yields of the printing press which is worth more than two billion Naira is about N10 million.

Christ Embassy also owns CFI Pictures, a company that produces Christian movies. Located within the headquarters premises is a digital media store that markets electronic books and a gift card shop. The two are also money spinning channels for the church.

The church also has investments in the event and entertainment sector. In 2008, it bought over a warehouse belonging to a shoe making factory along Oregun Road which was converted to an event centre called K and G Event Centre. The event and recreational centre which is located at 8a, Oregun Road, has relaxation spots and other entertainment conveniences for customers.

The church also has an eatery called Dicksons. The fast food joint is rapidly expanding its outlets. It is being developed to compete favourably with Mr Biggs and similar outfits in the country.

Oyakhilome has also spread his business tentacles to the financial sector. The church owns two microfinance banks one of which is Moneycom Microfinance Bank.

Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo

Matthew Ashimolowo of Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) has carved a niche for himself in the British Christian community. His church, which attracts 8,000 congregation, is considered one of the richest in Britain. According to Robert Booth of The Guardian (London) reports, Pastor Ashimolowo, with a £100,000 yearly pay, earns more than the Archbishop of Canterbury, the official head of the British church.

KICC is reported as one of the richest religious institutions in both Britain and Nigeria.

The Kingsway International Christian Centre, in Walthamstow, has filed company accounts which reveal it made a £4.9m profit over a period of 18 months. It also has assets of £22.9m, more than three times the amount held by the foundation which maintains St Paul’s Cathedral.

His church’s wealth, according to reports, stems largely from the donations it encourages from its 8,000-strong largely African and Caribbean congregation. They gave £9.5m in tithes and offerings in the 18 months to April 2008, dwarfing the £33,000 that the average Church of England congregation gave over the same period.

Rather than a more traditional plate collection, forms are handed out to worshippers so they can make bank transfers at some services.

KICC’s wealth is the clearest sign yet of the gathering popularity of evangelical Pentecostalism which is the only growing branch of Christianity in the UK with an estimated 300,000 weekly worshippers.

The church’s increasing wealth represents a transformation in its fortunes after the discovery in 2005 by Charity Commission investigators of financial irregularities. Ashimolowo was ordered to repay £200,000 after it emerged he used church assets to buy a £13,000 Florida timeshare and £120,000 on his birthday celebrations, including £80,000 on a car. New trustees were appointed and Ashimolowo was removed from his role as chief executive.

“The last 18 months have been a period of incredible journey in the life of KICC,” said Ashimolowo in a preface to the accounts. “It has been very exciting to see God move the ministry from one level to another as we witness the increased manifestation of His glory.”

Ashimolowo is understood to earn his salary from preaching as well as royalties from sermons published in books and on DVDs through his own company. Ashimolowo Media Ministries made a profit of close to £60,000 in 2003.

Four KICC directors earn between £60,000 and £80,000 each. By contrast, a typical Church of England vicar earns around £21,500 and even the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has responsibility for an active congregation of close to a million people, only earns £68,740 a year.

“This is a very well-financed business,” said a tax accountant who examined the accounts for the Guardian. “It holds more than £16m in short term investments. I am the honorary auditor of my local church and they have just £20,000 on deposit.”

“The teaching of the church is very much about self-development,” said James McGlashan, a former oil executive who is now KICC’s chief operating officer. “If that is preaching wealth then we are preaching wealth. Becoming financially independent, owning a house, getting a degree and a better job is good.”

According to the accounts filed with Companies House, KICC finances were boosted by the sale for £10.1m of its Waterden Road home in Hackney to the London Development Agency which needed the site for the 2012 Olympics. It is planning to spend between £50m and £80m on a five-year project to build a complex at a site in Rainham, Essex, with capacity for 8,000 worshippers, classrooms, a TV studio, bookstore and offices.

As in Britain, Ashimolowo is fast spreading his church in Nigeria, spending millions of naira to plant branches of his church in every part of the country. His expansive church auditorium in Mende area of Maryland, Lagos speaks volume of his financial muscles.
67  Forum / Sports / Odemwingie on fire in Premier League on: 6-12-2010 05:05 AM
Odemwingie stars in Baggies win

Odewingie Peter

West Brom climbed into the top half of the Premier League as two-goal Peter Odemwingie and Somen Tchoyi earned them a 3-1 win over Newcastle.
Tchoyi's first goal at the Hawthorns gave the Baggies a deserved half-time lead after they dominated the opening 45 minutes.

Then Odemwingie wrapped up the points with his fifth goal of the campaign and another in the closing seconds to take his side past the 20-point mark before Peter Lovenkrands' last-gasp reply.

It sealed back to back league wins for Roberto Di Matteo's side after a slump in fortunes in November and their first over the Geordies in 18 attempts.

Newcastle could have no complaints about the outcome with Chris Brunt sparkling in a central midfield role and Odemwingie causing constant problems.

Andy Carroll hardly had a look-in and Newcastle's mini revival after the break was too little, too late.

The home side were the first to settle and the opening chance fell to Paul Scharner after a Chris Brunt corner was flicked onto the far post but he volleyed over from a narrow angle.

Newcastle were struggling to get out of their own half and Brunt drilled a 25 yard effort wide after being teed up by Tchoyi.

Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez was the first player to be yellow carded after 20 minutes for holding back Jara.

A clearance from Sol Campbell bounced off Tchoyi into the path of Odemwingie who had a run at goal but his shot flew across the face of goal.

Newcastle started to come more of the game and Carroll failed to make contact with an overhead kick after Albion failed to clear a Danny Guthrie corner.

Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi got free of his marker at another Guthrie corner but directed his header over the bar when he should have at least hit the target.

After 32 minutes Tchoyi broke the deadlock with his first goal at the Hawthorns - and his fourth of the campaign.

Brunt found Tchoyi in space inside the box and he cut inside Jose Enrique before curling a left-footed drive past Tim Krul from 15 yards out.

Tchoyi visibly grew in confidence and forced Krul to turn a fierce shot from a narrow angle for a corner after good play by Odemwingie and Jara.

James Morrison flicked a header wide from a Marek Cech centre and the Scotland international then forced Krul into a low save to his left.

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton made a half-time change with Lovenkrands replacing Ameobi.

Krul was relieved when Steven Taylor's flick header flew just over his own bar from a Jerome Thomas cross.

But Scott Carson was forced to make a fine save after 50 minutes to keep his side in front.

Wayne Routledge delivered an inviting cross from the right and Taylor's powerful header was parried away by the England keeper.

Carroll had a first sniff of a goal but dragged his shot across the face of the six yard box under pressure from Gabriel Tamas.

Enrique was yellow carded after 57 minutes after holding back Tchoyi.

Newcastle were looking more dangerous and Gutierrez jinked his way into the box and saw his deflected cross-shot evade Carson but Cech was on hand to clear close to the goal-line.

The half clearance fell to Carroll but he lacked composure in firing high and wide.

Guthrie became the third Newcastle to be cautioned for a late tackle on Thomas.

The game was more open and Krul saved low to his left from Morrison after good play by Tchoyi.

Morrison was only inches wide with another good attempt but after 71 minutes Odemwingie doubled Albion's lead with his fifth goal of the campaign.

Guthrie slipped over on the halfway line and left Odemwingie with a clear run of goal and he kept his composure before slipping a left-footed shot wide of Krul.

Guthrie had injured himself and was stretchered off and replaced by Alan Smith who was immediately booked for a crude lunge at Thomas.

Albion finished the stronger of the two sides and Krul beat out a pile-driver from Brunt before Campbell was booked for a foul on substitute Steven Reid.

With a minute remaining, Cech had the vision to find Odemwingie and he calmly took the ball around Krul before firing home.

Lovenkrands scored a consolation goal from close range in injury-time.
68  Forum / Politics / LegisLOOTERS - Mark and Bankole to buy official residences on: 6-12-2010 04:13 AM
Mark and Bankole to buy official residences

On Tuesday, November 30, 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan approved the sale of the official residences of the presiding officers of the National Assembly. The Senate President, the Deputy Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, have all been given leave to purchase their current living quarters, presidency sources told NEXT over the weekend.

The 2011 Appropriation Bill, which is yet to be brought to public notice, has already made N1.5 billion available for the construction of replacements for the yet-to-be sold properties.

Till date, the presiding officers of the Assembly have not enjoyed the monetisation policy put in place by President Olusegun Obasanjo which would have entitled them to reside in their private homes and thus receive accommodation allowances as other legislators do. Rather, the federal government provides official residences for the four officials. Human Rights lawyers however say that it is a contradiction for the federal government to allow presiding officers benefit from the old policy and in the same vein spend public funds to replace those houses.

“You cannot in a seeming fitful adherence to the monetisation policy at the same time approve money for the construction of new houses. It is contradictory and does not make sense. This is abuse of office,” Jiti Ogunye, a Lagos based human rights attorney said.

Some legislators, who are offended by Mr. Jonathan’s actions, believe that the president is trying to garner a more robust support base ahead of the 2011 Elections in the light of recent divisions in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on whose platform, President Jonathan hopes to run.

Ima Niboro, the spokesman of the president however denied any knowledge of such an approval for the sale of these houses to the lawmakers.

“I cannot confirm. You may have to speak to the FCT minister,” Mr. Niboro said in a text message.

Further enquiries at the Federal Capital Territory Administration indicated that the officials are not aware of the current deal between the presidency and the lawmakers.

“The president is desperate. You know, there are so many things that he wants from them so they are taking advantage of the situation,” a legislator, who spoke on condition of anonymity said to NEXT in Abuja.

Mr. Ogunye agrees with the legislator’s conclusions.

“Given the timing of the unholy gesture, I would be right to suggest that it is an attempt to curry support for the 2011 project. What is going on now is nothing but a grand abuse of office which to me is coming at the time when Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency is interfacing with caucuses in the National Assembly and begging for their support for his attempt to govern the country again,” he said.

Building new houses

Last week, the minister of finance, Olusegun Aganga, met with committee chairs in the Senate during which time many believe he shared with them details of the 2011 Appropriation Bill. Although the bill is yet to be read on the floor of the Senate, a copy of the document obtained by NEXT shows that provisions have been made for the building of new living quarters for the principal officers of the National Assembly.

This document also carries the signatures of the chairs of the Committee on Appropriation in the Senate and the House of Representatives, Iyiola Omisore and Ayoade Ademola respectively.

The bill indicates that N1.5 billion is the budget for the:

“Design and Construction of National Assembly Presiding Officers Residence (Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker House of Reps).” Spokespersons for the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives however vehemently denied any knowledge of the move by their principals to purchase the said properties.

“Not to my knowledge. It is not possible now. If it is sold, where will the next person [speaker] stay? Will he stay under the bridge or in a hotel? It is not possible,” Musa Ebomhiana, the chief press secretary to the speaker of the House of Representatives, said.

“I’m not aware about bidding. I’m not aware of any approval by President Jonathan. I’m not aware at all,” Kola Ologbodiyan, the spokesman of the Senate President said.

Controversial spending

This is not the first time that public spending on the residences of the NASS officials has raised questions.

The first public uproar came in 2007 when the House of Representatives, under the leadership of Patricia Etteh, awarded contracts to the tune of N628 million for the renovation of her house and her deputy’s.

The controversy led to her resignation later in the year. In 2008, the federal government approved a total ofN200 million to be spent in renovating the residences. The officials only recently moved back into their official residencies after the massive renovations that were carried out.

Mr. Ogunye says that it is irresponsible of the government to keep making a fuss of the residences of the lawmakers.

“We are talking about a government that is not building roads. So what then is the case of perpetually renovating, building and selling of legislative quarters?” he said.

Just another largesse

Should the sale of the houses be made to the leaders of both chambers of the Assembly, it will be an extra largesse for them.

Mr. Mark, who became the Senate president in 2007, has been a Senator since 1999. He, alongside other serving legislators between 2003 and 2007, benefitted from the sale of the Apo legislative quarters, residence to the legislators. Same for Mr. Bankole who was also a member of the House of Representatives when the Apo quarter houses were sold to serving federal lawmakers. Mr. Bankole lived in his Apo quarters house until early this year when he moved to his official- now to be bought- residence.

“These national assembly leaders apart from owning houses in Apo quarters also own property in choice areas in Abuja. Why then would the President want to give them largesse now,” a visibly angry former lawmaker, who benefitted from the sale of the Apo quarters said.

Need to work together

The decision by President Jonathan to sell these houses to the presiding officers may also not be unconnected with the need for all of them to work together in order to benefit from the PDP zoning arrangement.

Except President Jonathan returns as President in 2011, there is hardly any chance that either of the four house leaders will remain in his position. As it currently stands, Mr. Jonathan is from the South South; the Vice President, Namadi Sambo is from the North West; Mr. Mark is from the North central; his deputy Ike Ekweremadu is from the South East; and Mr. Bankole is from the South West.

By implication, should the PDP ticket be secured by a northern aspirant, who may go ahead to win the general elections, both Mr. Mark and Mr. Bankole, if they return to the national assembly, may lose their leadership positions. While Mr. Mark has signified his intention to return to the senate, his House of Representatives counterpart is yet to declare if he will return to the house or contest for the Ogun State governorship election.

Both Eseme Eyiboh, the spokesman of the house of Representatives; and Ayogu Eze, the Senate spokesman declined to pick their calls or respond to text messages.
69  Forum / Politics / LegisLOOTERS - N200 million to renovate Nigeria Speaker’s residence on: 6-12-2010 04:05 AM
N200 million to renovate Nigeria Speaker’s residence

The sum of N200 million has been allocated in the 2009 Federal Capital Territory Budget to complete the upgrading of the official residences of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, and the Deputy, Usman Nafada.

Chairman of the House of Representatives committee on the the Federal Capital Territory, Atai Aidoko Ali disclosed this to journalists on Monday in Abuja.

Previous renovation was stopped in 2007, following the controversy that trailed the award of the contracts by the former Speaker, Patricia Etteh, at a total cost of N628 million. Before work was stopped, about N57 million had been paid to the contractors. The controversy led to the resignation of Mrs. Etteh.

Since assuming office on November 1, 2007, Mr. Bankole and Mr. Nafada have been operating from their private residences.

However, N200 million was finally approved by President Umaru Yar’Adua in the 2008 budget of the Federal Capital Territory, to complete the work.

Ali explained that the renovation did not continue because the contractors could not access the N200 million due to the late passage of the budget.

He added that the money was subsequently rolled over into the 2009 Budget for this year and assured that the money would be accessed.

Mr. Ali did not, however, disclose when the Speaker and his deputy would move into their official residences.

Speaking on a different matter, the lawmaker said the committee had summoned the Federal Capital Territory minister, Adamu Aliero, over alleged harassment and intimidation of operators of commercial parks, gardens and recreational facilities in the territory.

Mr. Aliero recently ordered that all parks, gardens and commercial recreation centres within Abuja metropolis, especially where food and drinks are sold, be closed by 7pm daily.

Mr. Ali said that the House had been inundated with complaints and a series of petitions about the minister’s hard stance on the operators of the facilities.

According to him, apart from allegations of harassment and intimidation levelled against the minister, mobile policemen are allegedly extorting money from the operators of the parks.

“We have summoned Aliero to know what he wants and advise him on how to go about it. We even had to jettison a motion on the issue to enable us intervene and talk to him,” he said.

The committee chairman further disclosed that a motion earlier proposed to caution the minister last week was later shelved following a decision to invite him.
70  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Life expectancy in Nigeria is now 48.4yrs, says UN report on: 30-11-2010 11:55 AM
Life expectancy in Nigeria is now 48.4yrs, says UN report

LATEST figures from the United Nation’s Human Development Report has put Nigeria’s life expectancy at birth at 48.4 years, a little rise from the 47.7 years recorded for the country last year.

The 2010 report, which was unveiled in Abuja yesterday, put Nigeria’s Human Development Index  (HDI) at 0.423, which ranked   the country 142 out of 169 countries with comparable data. Nigeria did not make the very high Human Development rank, neither did it make the High Human Development rating. It was not also ranked among the countries that made it to the Medium Human Development strata.

Also, Nigeria found itself in the lowest ranking nations in the Low Human Development category, escaping from the bottom of the human development index by 27 positions.

The HDI of sub-Saharan Africa as a region increased from 0.293 in 1980 to 0.389 this year, placing Nigeria above the regional average. The HDI trends tell an important story both at the national and regional level and highlight the very large gaps in well-being and life chances that continue to divide our interconnected world.
Nigeria’s expenditure on public health was put at 1.7 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while under-five mortality stood at 186 out of every 1,000 live births.

Each year, since 1990, the Human Development Report has published the HDI, which was introduced as an alternative to conventional measures of national development, such as level of income and the rate of economic growth.

The HDI represents a push for a broader definition of well-being and provides a composite measure of three basic dimensions of human development: Health, education and income.

This year’s report celebrates the contributions of the human development approach, which the UN says, is as relevant as ever to making sense of a changing world, and finding ways to improve people’s well-being.

Speaking at the launch of the report in Abuja, UN Permanent Representative and UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Daouda Toure, stressed that the UN, in collaboration with the National Planning Commission (NPC), the National Universities Commission (NUC), and vice chancellors and academic directors of Nigerian universities, was supporting a process of mainstreaming human development studies in the Nigerian universities curricula.

He added: “We hope to help increase the knowledge base that is critical to bringing out the human development approach, HDI and associated indices, and to make the indices part of the measurements put in place by national authorities. We also look forward to the time when human development expertise availability will contribute to anchoring the democratic competition on substantive issues benefiting the human development.

“Our aim is to make the human development debate more owned by the citizens of the country. Mainstreaming human development studies in the curricula of universities will contribute to Nigeria’s ability to reinforce the ownership of its development approach. In addition, exposing students to the human development approach will be invariably building the momentum for human development focused governance in future.”

He urged the academia to take up the challenge of advancing good governance, issue-based political competition, informed by data and statistics, free and fair elections to get the real choice of the people in the realm of affairs, “which are what will get this country where it wants to be, and indeed deserve to be, among the 20 biggest economies of the world by the year 2020.That is why our programme of support is focusing on those priority areas.”

In his speech at the ceremony, the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, expressed joy that the UNDP was supporting Nigeria to mainstream the human development reports into the curriculum of Nigerian universities.

He added: “The government fully acknowledges the relevance of the human development report to Nigeria’s development. We are, therefore, fully committed to mainstreaming the outcomes of the 2010 report and subsequent editions of the report into the national development agenda for the transformation of our economy.
We will also work with the UNDP to ensure that both the private sector and sub-national governments in Nigeria take full advantage of the report.”
71  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / What! Ghana bans sale of second-hand/used clothes and underwears! on: 27-11-2010 10:31 AM
What! Ghana bans sale of second-hand/used clothes and underwears!

Market traders in Ghana will be banned from selling second-hand underwear from next February, trade regulators say.

According to the Ghana Standards Board, used pants - and other second-hand goods like handkerchiefs and mattresses - are unhygienic and could pose a health hazard.

The importation of these items was banned in 1994 but never implemented.

Some traders in a market in the capital, Accra, told the BBC they were unhappy the move might affect business.

The BBC's David Amanor in the city says there is a lot of consumer demand for second-hand clothing, often imported from Europe, as it is cheaper than locally produced items.

It is the same in many African countries.
Stained goods

"Ghana is a third world country; we've been doing this all along, so why are they talking about a ban now?" Millicent, a trader in Kantamanto Market in central Accra, told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

"The authorities should think again because our livelihoods are at stake."

Cynthia, another market trader, defended the business.

"Second-hand underwear and other clothes we sell here at Kantamanto Market are better quality than new undies in the stores," she said.

She admitted that some of the imported underwear was stained but said customers rummage through the piles and inspect goods before buying.

"No matter how poor the person is, they will not chose stained ones and we throw them away," she said.

One trader insisted that all the goods she sold had been disinfected.

Our reporter says second-hand clothing is often referred to as "obroni wewu", which literally translates as "white man's deads".

Some customers also seemed dismayed by the news of the forthcoming ban, he says.

"I've been wearing 'obroni wewu' all my life from infancy - all the clothes you see on me today from up to down are 'obroni wewu' - and I never fell sick because of used clothes," says Doris, a shopper at Kantamanto Market.

The Ghana Standards Board has re-iterated that it is not all used clothes that are banned.

It says an education campaign is under way to ensure that dealers in second-hand comply with the law before the ban comes into effect.
72  Forum / Politics / Atiku to Obasanjo: “We too dey laugh ooo!” on: 27-11-2010 05:15 AM
Atiku to Obasanjo: “We too dey laugh ooo!”
You Would Have Rot in Prison

Barely 24 hours after receiving a political blow, ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar on Friday hit ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo over the loss of the South-West by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He also said: “We too dey laugh ooo!” over the victory of  Rauf Aregbesola at the Court of Appeal, Ibadan division.

He asked the leadership of the PDP to put the blame of its dilemma in the South-West at the doorsteps of Obasanjo.

He added that with the victory of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the South West, it was time for Obasanjo to retire to his “huge fortune in Ota,” instead of making a “fool of himself”

Atiku made his position known in a statement in Abuja through his Campaign Organisation.

He said the  Court of Appeal, Ibadan division’s declaration of the candidate of  ACN, Rauf Aregbesola, was  a “consequence of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s mismanagement of the PDP in the entire South West.

The statement said: “We are reaping the consequences of Obasanjo’s gross mismanagement of not only the PDP in the South West, but the entire country. We too dey laugh ooo!

“Obasanjo should just get out of the party so that we can rebuild the party we formed. All Obasanjo had done in his South West zone was to tear down the party, cause divisions and force out credible and loyal party members,” the statement said.
73  Forum / Politics / PDP Collapsing? Aregbesola Declared Osun Governor… Court Sacks PDP Onyinlola on: 26-11-2010 07:09 PM
PDP Collapsing? Aregbesola Declared Osun Governor… Court Sacks PDP Onyinlola

Justices of the Court of Appeal in Ibadan have declared the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Rauf Aregbesola, winner of the 2007 governorship election in Osun State and ordered that he be sworn in as governor by 12 noon tomorrow.

The judgment brings to end the Peoples Democratic Party government headed by Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Following the declaration of Mr Oyinlola as winner of the 2007 election, Mr Aregbesola went to court to challenge the Independent National Electoral Commission's decision.

Prior to the judgment, the two sides had argued their briefs at the last sitting of the court on November 1 when the five-member appeal panel, led by Clara Ogunbiyi reserved judgement on the matter.

There is already wild jubilation across Osun State and civil servants are noticed closing their offices to join in the celebration.
74  Forum / Politics / Consensus candidate: OBJ mocks Atiku: says "I dey Laugh ooh" on: 26-11-2010 08:54 AM
Consensus candidate: OBJ mocks Atiku "I dey Laugh ooh"

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday burst into laughter and kept on for about three minutes when asked by State House correspondents to react to the emergence of former vice president Atiku Abubakar as northern consensus aspirant for the presidential primaries of the People Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2011 general elections. Obasanjo in his usual comic nature said sarcastically in pidgin English, “I dey laugh!”

The two-time former president who attended the National Council of State (NCS) meeting, when cornered during break after the first session of meeting to comment on the emergence of his former deputy while in office, first adjusted his white Agbada, took up his Vicks inhaler, inhaled repeatedly on the inhaler, and laughed, before saying: “I dey laugh !”

“I am full of joy and I wish you (journalists) and Nigerians the fullness of joy. I wish you peace and joy always”; and reporters chorused: “Amen”.
Also commenting barely 24 hours after his counterpart in Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda declared that the North would not betray the South-south because both had enjoyed harmonious political relationship, Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State said the North would soon speak on the selection of Atiku by the Ciroma-led committee.
Below are excerpts from the interview with Governor Shema

What’s your view on Atiku?
He is a presidential aspirant.

But, he is standing in for the North?
You have to ask the North.

But you are a key member of the North?
Yes, I am, but you have to ask the North because I am not the only person in the North.

What’s your personal view?
My view, the North will talk.
Meanwhile, Vice President, Namadi Sambo has said there is no such thing as consensus candidate from the North. Apparently, he disregarded the recent emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the anointed person of the northern region by the Adamu Ciroma-led committee.

Speaking with aviation correspondents yesterday evening on his arrival in Lagos, Sambo said the frenzy over a northern consensus candidate was unnecessary because the party’s constitution had no such provisions.
“Who said that there is a consensus candidate for the North? Who says so? We are not aware of any northern consensus candidate because our understanding differs and the North has no consensus candidate for this election for the PDP. PDP has constitutional avenues. We have our constitution of the party on how we select our candidate for our different positions for election and just two days ago, INEC presented the timetable which I can assure you the PDP will follow that time table.

The PDP will follow the constitutional processes for the election of our candidate and I can assure you Nigerians, including yourself, I believe right from the time that we declared for election, that it is time for Nigeria to be transformed and the Jonathan/ Sambo is the ticket for this country to be transformed for future development to see that Nigeria becomes one of the most developed countries in the world”, he explained.

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