I express my profound gratitude for the massive votes you gave my party – the PDP, during the Presidential and National elections. As we move to the governorship & state elections on March 9, I urge you to come out in larger numbers to peacefully vote for PDP, from top to bottom.
Lagos, one of Africa’s fastest growing cities, has, no doubt, had its own fair share of the pros and cons of governance and administration characteristic of a cosmopolitan state as ours. To this extent, it behoves all Lagosians to, at this moment, to make the best use of our index fingers by cleverly queueing behind the pair that will advance our Lagos to a greener pasture, say to Eldorado, if you like.
As we go to the polls for the governorship election in Lagos, come March 9, having heard them talk and act, I can confirm and tell for free that the Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat ticket is the very best for Lagos. I don’t know of any pair else who has shown so much readiness in taking up the daunting task ahead, while engaging all sectors on blueprints for development. The duo of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat are super-intelligent, youthful, resourceful and experienced.
Having unveiled their manifesto, tagged Project THEME, which they fondly tagged “The Five Pillars of Development”, which will focus on traffic and transportation, health and the environment, education and technology, making Lagos a 21st century economy, as well as entertainment and tourism, one cannot but agree beyond every doubt that this team is gallantly posed for engendering a smarter and better Lagos for all.
Scrolling through his curriculum vitae, Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu, an astute banker and technocrat of repute, has served Lagos in many capacities and contributed to a greater Lagos, in no small measure, as commissioner and head of a major public parastatal in the state.
The 53-year old Sanwo-Olu is a graduate of the University of Lagos, the London Business School, Lagos Business School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He was the Managing Director/CEO of Lagos State Property Development Commission (LSPDC).
He is also a Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Training and Development (NITAD) and an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM).
Sanwo-Olu has plied his banking trade with former Lead Merchant Bank between 1994-1997, where he served as treasurer, before he moved to the United Bank for Africa as Head, Foreign Money Market. He later proceeded to First Inland Bank, Plc (now First City Monument Bank) as a Deputy General Manager and Divisional Head. He was the Chairman of Baywatch Group Limited and First Class Group Limited and a board member of the Department for International Development (DFID/DEEPEN) Fund and Audit Committee of Caverton Offshore Services Group, Plc.
In 2003, he was appointed a Special Adviser on Corporate Matters to the then Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Femi Pedro. He later became the acting Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, before being appointed as the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry by the then Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In 2007, Sanwo-Olu was appointed Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions by Governor Babatunde Fashola. In 2016, the resourceful and efficacious technocrat was then appointed as the Managing Director/CEO of the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
Some of his notable public sector achievements include the supervision of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) privatisation projects. He set up and was the Pioneer Board Chairman of Lagos Security Trust Fund. The LAGBUS System and the Control & Command Centre in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, were subsequently established under his directives.
Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, a brilliant engineer has been in the picture for years too, having served as Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in the state and later appointed as the Commissioner for Science & Technology.
Hamzat, a 54-year old graduate of the University of Ibadan with a degree in Agricultural Engineering, an MSc. in Crop Processing Engineering and a Ph.D. in System Process Engineering, has over twenty years of work experience in several organisations, including the Columbia University, Merrill Lynch Inc, Morgan Stanley and Oando Plc, the City of New York, RTP Consulting Services.
While he held sway as Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hamzat introduced and enforced the application of modern technology in the state’s ministries, thereby changing the face of data and record keeping in the state. His innovation was also applicable for eliminating the anomaly of ghost workers within the civil service, while ensuring the completion of several infrastructural projects for the mega city of Lagos. In 2013, Hamzat emerged the winner of the fifth edition of the Lagos State Man of the Year Awards.
If expertise, competence, performance and experience are still the hallmarks of good governance and administration, then, assuredly, Lagos is safe in the hands of these two administrators per excellence who have, in various capacities, proven their worth in both private and public fields of engagement.
Ayo Alonge writes from Lagos.
UEFA took the unusual step on Friday to explain a series of controversial Video Assistant Referees (VAR) calls in this week’s Champions League last 16 ties.
European football’s governing body bowed to pressure by bringing forward the introduction of VAR into the Champions League for the knockout rounds, having not used the technology for the group stages.
￼Ajax and Manchester United benefited from disputed decisions in sealing dramatic comebacks to eliminate holders Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
The handball given against PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe to award United a stoppage time penalty, which Marcus Rashford converted to complete a 3-1 win on the night at the Parc des Princes and progress on away goals, was branded “a disgrace” by injured PSG star Neymar.
￼Even former United players Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen said in their roles at TV pundits the penalty should not have been awarded.
However, UEFA explained why Slovenian referee Damir Skomina reversed his original decision not to point to the spot having been alerted to watch a replay of the incident by the VAR.
“Following the on-field review, the referee confirmed that the distance that the ball travelled was not short and the impact could therefore not be unexpected,” said UEFA’s statement.
“The defender’s arm was not close to the body, which made the defender’s body bigger thus resulting in the ball being stopped from travelling in the direction of the goal. The referee, therefore, awarded a penalty kick.”
￼Ajax’s third goal in a 4-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu was reviewed over whether the ball had gone out for what would have been a Madrid throw-in prior to Dusan Tadic’s finish.
UEFA said referee Felix Brych was right to award the goal in the absence of conclusive proof the ball crossed the touchline.
Porto’s comeback from a 2-1 first leg defeat to beat Roma 3-1 after extra-time was also marked by big VAR calls.
The Portuguese side’s winner came from a penalty awarded by VAR three minutes from time.
Roma then had a penalty claim of their own turned down when Patrik Schick tumbled inside the area.
“Last year we asked for VAR in the Champions League because we got screwed in the semi-final and tonight, they’ve got VAR and we still get robbed,” raged Roma president James Pallotta.
￼However, UEFA insisted on the Schick incident “no clear and obvious error had occurred and that there was no ground for a VAR intervention and an on-field review.”
Gbenga Daniel, former director-general of the Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign organisation, has endorsed Dapo Abiodun, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun state, for Saturday’s election.
In a statement on Thursday, Daniel directed his supporters to vote for Abiodun.
He gave the directive shortly after Atiku appealed to Nigerians to vote en masse for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the governorship and national assembly elections.
Atiku made the appeal in a video widely circulated on social media.
But Daniel who is not on the same page with Buruji Kashamu, governorship candidate of the PDP, has pitched his tent with Abiodun.
Daniel had backed Ladi Adebutu who lost the PDP gubernatorial ticket to Kashamu.
“My Dear compatriots, and members of Remo Resource & R Centre: you would have noticed my studied silence in our local politics in recent times, he said in a statement.
“I have busied myself with national politics having served the state for 8 years. I have also been very busy supporting the ambition of the son of our great philantropist in Remoland to become the next governor of our dear state.
“You however would have become aware of the court decision yesterday which did not favour him. Going forward, I have directed all our structures statewide to cast all their votes on Saturday for Prince Dapo Abiodun, another bona fide Remo son despite current party differences.
“I therefore enjoin all to please go and cast your vote on Saturday for Dapo Abiodun in the overall interest of our people. With best regards.”
The Ogun election will end as one of the most interesting, given the fact that the two major parties are fraught with internal crisis.
Adekunle Akinlade, preferred candidate of Ibikunle Amosun, the incumbent governor, had defected to the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) after losing the APC ticket.
Amosun, who won the Ogun central senatorial election under APC, has mobilised his structure for Akinlade.
As Nigerians await inauguration of the 9th Senate, following the near expiration of the 8th Senate, a pressure group, Movement for Justice and Equity/Solidarity for Election of President of Igbo Extraction has tipped the former governor of Abia State and Senator-elect for Abia North Senatorial Zone, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu to succeed the out-going Senate President, Bukola Saraki of the 8th Senate and become the 9th senate President.
They said their reason for the choice of Kalu was predicated on the fact that Kalu is a vibrant, fearless and hardworking democrat who always consider the interest of his people and not selfish interest.
National President of the group, Ambassador Simon Ogonaezi who disclosed this yesterday shortly after their crucial meeting in Onitsha, Anambra State, declared: “Kalu is more than qualified to lead this new 9th Senate to the promised land as he will work in synergy with President Muhammadu Buhari to better the welfare of Nigerians.
“If elected the next Senate President, it is also going to be an opportunity for Nigerians to enjoy the ingenuity bestored on Ndigbo by God towards development and progress in all aspects of the economy”
According to a criminal charge filed before the court by EFCC, they were alleged to have fraudulently converted the sum of $60,000 and N9.2mllion belonging to an officer of the Nigerian Army, Major General Umaru Mohammed who is a customer of the bank.
Ecobank Plc and its Senior Manager, Anieka Udoh were alleged to have committed the offence sometimes in 2009 and 2016 respectively by failing to exercise due diligence in relation to conduct of financial transactions with General Umaru’s Ecobank MasterCard account nunmber 0015052989.
TheLagostimes gathered that the offence allegedly committed by the defendants contradict section 7(3) of the advance Free Fraud and other related offences Act and punishable under the same Act.
It was further alleged that Anieka Udoh, while being an employee of Ecobank Plc on or about the 28th day of January 2016 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of the court negligently failed to exercise due diligence in relation to conduct of financial transactions with General Umaru Mohammed’s Ecobank MasterCard account No 0015052996 in the name of Major General Mohammed Umaru without the knowledge and authority of the customer, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 7(3)(a) and (b) of the advance Free Fraud and other related offences Act No. 14 of 2006 and punishable under section 7(3) (a)and (b) of the same Act.
The anti graft agency also alleged that the sum of sixty thousand United States Dollars ($60,000) and nine millions and five hundred thousand Naira (N9.5m) belonging to Major General Umaru Mohammed was fraudulently converted by Ecobank and Udoh in 2009 and 2016 respectively.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge. Thereafter, the Presiding Judge, Justice Saliu Saidu while adjourning the case till 12th of March, 2019 when the bail application will be heard, ordered that the defendant should be remanded in Ikoyi Prison.
Former Senate minority leader, Godswill Akpabio, has withdrawn a case he filed in court challenging his Senate reelection loss. His lawyer, Sunday Ameh, announced the withdrawal in court in Abuja on Friday. He did not give reasons for his decision.
Also on Friday, the judge, Valentine Ashi, denied restraining INEC from issuing certificate of return to the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Chris Ekpenyong, who defeated Akpabio.
A Rivers State chief magistrates’ court in Port Harcourt has issued a warrant for the arrest of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Nsima Ekere.
Sir S.D. Andrew-Jaja, a chief magistrate, said Ekere, alongside one
The magistrate, in a copy of the court order sighted by our correspondent, said he issued the warrant for the arrest of both Ekere and Moljengo after hearing argument from S.T. Soremi, the complainant counsel in a suit marked PMC/MISC/15/2019.
Listed as complainant in the suit was one Multi-Intelligence Development Limited.
Paul Ogwuma, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and his wife have acquired property worth £33m (N15.6 billion), a UK investigative journalism magazine has revealed.
According to the magazine, Private Eye, Ogwuma, who served as CBN governor for six years has “amassed a £33m British property empire”.
In its report titled “Abuja on Thames” the paper said it “has identified a network of 15 British companies owned or controlled by Anna Ogwuma,” wife of the ex-governor, adding that her husband “looted his country under 1990s military dictatorship”.
“Paul Ogwuma, 86, was governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria during the brutal and kleptocratic rule of General Sani Abacha, when the bank was the latter’s personal piggy-bank. Some estimates suggest looting under Abacha ran to billions of dollars,” the report read.
“Under his successor for one year, retired general Abdulsalami Abubakar, Ogwuma oversaw a depletion in Nigeria’s foreign currency reserves of around $3bn, or 40%”.
“Between 2002 and 2017, her companies were used for 20 separate property purchases. They ranged from commercial sites in the north of England to luxury apartments in west London.
“Among them are townhouses in Kensington and Paddington, a couple of apartments in Mayfair, and premises in Bishop’s Stortford town centre that currently house a branch of Greggs.”
The report added that “although the Abacha era and its excesses are receding into history, banks that were often complicit at the time might be expected to know some of this history.
“Yet Mrs Ogwuma’s most valuable properties were either bought or remortgaged with loans from Barclays Bank (which handled $170m of Abacha’s ill-gotten wealth) and Lloyds Bank in the years after 2015.
“While times have moved on, so has the law on money laundering, and Mrs Ogwuma’s lavish property buying should have prompted questions about the origin of her money. The looting of Africa has a long legacy on the streets of Britain”.
Ogwuma served as the managing director/CEO of Union Bank of Nigeria prior to his appointment as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria in September, 1993.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will not issue certificates of return to any candidate in the elections that was declared winner of an election under duress.
INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, made this known during a meeting with the inter-agency consultative committee on election security held in Abuja on Thursday.
There was widespread intimidation and harassment of INEC staff in the last elections.
In Imo, for instance, Francis Ibeawuchi, INEC returning officer for the Imo west senatorial election, said he was “forced” to announce Rochas Okorocha, Imo state governor, as winner of the poll.
Yakubu said the commission will not tolerate the intimidation of its staff during Saturday’s elections.
“I am confident that working together with the security agencies, we will consolidate on the largely peaceful conduct of the presidential and national assembly elections while also taking decisive steps to deal with the minority of violators intent on disrupting the conduct of peaceful elections,” he said.
“However, the commission will not tolerate the act of holding our officials hostage and forcing them to declare winners under duress. Where such occurs, the commission will not reward bad behaviour by issuing them certificates of return.”
‘Measures in place to ensure polls open at 8am’
The INEC chairman added that the commission had put necessary measures in place to ensure voting starts at the scheduled time of 8am.
He said materials for the election have been delivered to all states and the FCT and movement to the local government areas to be completed before Friday.
“By tomorrow, all materials and relevant personnel will arrive at the Registration Area Centres (RACs),” he said, adding: “With this arrangement, we are confident that all polling units will open at 8am nationwide.”
The governorship election will hold in 29 states while 991 members of houses of assembly in all the states will be elected alongside six local government chairmen and 62 councillors in the FCT.
The Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force, Ikoyi-Lagos, has charged Mr. Herbert Wigwe, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, his bank and two others before an Ogun State High Court, Sagamu, on 21 counts criminal charge.
Those charged alongside Wigwe and Access Bank Plc, before Justice N. I. Agbelu led-court are: 41 years old Alawode Oluseye and Bayo Adesina. Wigwe and others are facing charges bordering on conspiracy, fraudulent disposal of trust property, fraudulent conversion, stealing and false representation.
SFU in the charge marked HCS/010/19 allege that the Access Bank boss and others, sometimes on June 2017, at the premises on Metal Africa Steel Products Limited, Kilometer 16, Ikorodu/Sagamu road, Ewe Jagun, Ogun State, conspired among themselves to the alleged to have unlawfully effected the selling of 23, 754.413 metric tonnes of Steel Billets, belonging to BMCE Bank International Plc for N2,572, 500, billion, to Africa Steel Products Limited.
Wigwe and others defendants were also alleged to have obtained the sun of N2,572,500 billion, from Africa Steel Mills Limited, by false representation that they were the owner of the said Steel Billets.
SFU also alleged that Wigwe and other defendants in 2017, forged Bill of Ladings number: MJINLOS150007’1A’; MJINLOS150007 ‘1B’; MJINLOS150007 ‘1C’; MJINLOS150007 ‘2A’; MJINLOS150007’2B’; MJINLOS150007 ‘2C’; MJINLOS150007 ‘2C’; MJINLOS150007 ‘2D’; MJINLOS150007 ‘2E’; MJINLOS150007 ‘2F’; MJINLOS150007 ‘2G’; MJINLOS150007 ‘2H’; MJINLOS150007 ‘2I’; MJINLOS150007 ‘2J’; MJINLOS150007 ‘2k’; MJINLOS150007’2L’ andMJINLOS150007’2M’, which they claimed were issued on January 9, 2016.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. E. Jackson, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) are contrary to and punishable under Sections 518(6), 434, 383(1)(f) and 390(9), 516 and 464 and 467 of the criminal Code of Ogun State of Nigeria, 2006.
The offence is also said to have contravened Section 1(1)(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act No. 14 of 2006.
During their arraignment, it was only one of the defendants was present in court, who pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
However, lawyer to the defendants, Edoka Dox Onyeke, informed the court that his clients are exploring means of settling the matter with the complainant.
Onyeke pleaded with the court for a short adjournment. The matter has been adjourned for report of settlement.
STATEMENT 0F OFFENCE..1st Count
Conspiracy to effect an unlawful purpose, to wit: an unlawful sale of Steel Billets property of BMCE BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC, contrary to Section 518 (6) of the Criminal Code of Ogun State of Nigeria, 2006.
PARTICULARS 0F OFFENCE ‘That you HERBERT WIGWE ‘M’, ALAWODE OLUSEYE ‘M’, BAYO ADESINA ‘M’ AND ACCESS BANK PLC on 22 day of June, 2017, at the premises at Met Africa Steel Products Limited, Km 16, IkorodulSagamu Road, Ewe Jagun, Ogun State, Within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired among yourselves to effect
unlawful purpose to wit: the unlawful and unauthorised sale of 754.413 metnc tonnes of Stee| Billets, property of BMCE BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC without Its permission or consent.
STATEMENT 0F OFFENCE…..2nd COUNT Fraudulent Disposal of Trust Property, contrary to Section 434 of the Criminal of Ogun State of Nigeria, 2006.
PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE That you Herbert Wigwe ‘M’, Alawode Oluseye ‘M’, Bayo Adesina, ‘M’ and access BANK PLC on 22nd day of June, 2017, at the muses d m African Steel Products Limited, Km 16, Ikorodu/Sagamu Road, Jagun, Ogun State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud converted 23,754.413 metric tonnes of Steel Billets property of BMCE Bank International Plc, to your own use and unlawfully sold same without the authority of BMCE International Bank Plc.
STATEMENT OF 0FFENCE…3rd CountStealing of Money, contrary to Sections 383 (1)(f) and 390 (9) of the Criminal Code of Ogun State of Nigeria, 2005. ‘
Particulars of offence: “that you Herbert Wigwe, ‘M’, Alawode Oluseye ‘M’, Bayo Adesina, and Access Bank Plc, sometimes in June, 2017, in Ogun State, within the jurisdictions of this honourable court, Unlawfully sold 23, 754.413 metric tonnes Steel Billets, property of BMCE Bank International Plc to African Steel Mills Nigeria Limited for N2,572,500,000.00 and fraudulently converted me money to your own use and benefit.
Statements of offence … 4th Count: Conspiracy to commit a felony to wit: stealing of 23,754.413 metric tonnes of Steel Billets, property of BMCE Bank International Plc, contrary to Seam 516 the Criminal Code of Ogun State, 2006.
Particulars Of Offence That you Herbert Wigwe, ‘M’ Alawode Oluseye ‘M’, Bayo Adesina, and Access Bank Plc, between 2016 and 2017, at Ewe Jagun, Ogun State, Within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired among yourselves to sell 23,754.41 metric tonnes of Steel billets property of BMCE Bank International Plc.