Walter Onnoghen, suspended chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), says his two asset declarations forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) were tampered with.
Speaking through his counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, at his resumed trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja on Monday, the suspended CJN said the forms he submitted in 2014 and 2016 were mutilated and in loose form.
Onnoghen is currently being tried by the CCT on a six-count charge of non-declaration of some of his assets, although he said it was an oversight.
James Akpala, a senior investigation officer with the CCB, had requested to tender the asset forms investigated by the agency.
When Awomolo asked Onnoghen to confirm the document before it is admitted, the former CJN said it had been doctored.
Akpala, however, narrated how the bureau responded to a petition from the Centre for Anti-Corruption Initiative, signed by one Denis Aghanya, on January 10.
He said his team got a statement from Onnoghen and applied for his account details with his bank, while the team concluded the investigation within 24 hours.
While being cross-examined, Akpala declined comment on if he was aware that the charges, evidence and witnesses against Onnoghen were prepared and signed on January 10, the same day the petition was signed, which was even before the conclusion of the investigation on January 11.
He also said that he was not aware if the bureau had a central registry and register where all returned forms were stored.
Also, Akpala refused to comment when he was shown that the financial statement he said he got from Onnoghen’s bank was addressed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), having denied earlier that the anti-graft agency was involved in the investigation.
The CCT later adjourned till Thursday to allow Onnoghen appear before the National Judicial Council (NJC).
In compliance with the established regulations and rules that govern the activities of the gaming, betting, lotto and pool sector in Enugu state, the regulatory agency in the state has finalized arrangements to commence the full implementation of the rules on identification and operations in the sector in all the local governments of the state.
The agency, Enugu State Gaming and Lotto Commission (ESGC) made this pronouncement penultimate week in a message from the office of the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Francis Nwankwo, where he reiterated the commitment of the Commission in ensuring that all laid down rules of the agency is carried out to the letter. His words: “on the orders of the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in pursuant to the Gaming and Lotto laws of Enugu State, it is now mandatory that all Gaming (Lotto, Sports Betting, Raffle and Pool staking) outlets in the state must adhere to all the rules and regulations of the laws guiding the commission”.
According to him, some of these conditions include the following:
(1) All Gaming merchant locations MUST be identified with an ESGC approval outdoor signage bearing their allocated Serial Identification Number and must be displayed within the proximity of the said shop. This signage MUST be obtained from the offices of ESGC, and it is at the cost of N12,500.00(twelve thousand five naira only)
(2) All Gaming outlets MUST NOT be located within visible distance from ANY primary or secondary school in the State.
(3) All mandatory Good-Cause fees as stipulated in the Enugu State Gaming Laws MUST be settled within the said period.
(4) All gaming outlets MUST NOT entertain anyone below the age of 18yrs.
Mr. Nwankwo explained that this enforcement exercise, which will take off simultaneously in all 17 local government areas of the state, was earlier scheduled to commence on the 28th of Febuary, but postponed as a result of the elections. He explained that, “we had earlier informed all gaming outfits operating in Enugu State, to regularize their operations since November 2018, and followed it up with massive publicity on radio and other media. “We are embarking on this enforcement drive to show that we have the capacity to enforce the gaming regulations in the state” he said.
The Enugu State gaming commission, which currently uses state-of-the-art technology platform from CWG Plc to power its operations, alsoreiterated the fact that failure to adhere to any or all of the above-mentioned regulations will be met with outright sealing of the said offending outlet or total ban of the brand in Enugu State. The exercise commences on the 18th of March 2019.
- Nigerian Breweries Plc to install 650 kW of solar power at its Ibadan Brewery in 2019 using CrossBoundary Energy’s solar technology
- Project is the first solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for a major company in Nigeria and for Heineken in Africa
- Solar energy plant will reduce Nigerian Breweries CO2 emissions by over 10,000 tonnes, while providing the site with cheaper power
Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB) and CrossBoundary Energy are today announcing the signing of Heineken’s first solar project in Africa. CrossBoundary Energy will be installing and operating a 650 kW solar plant located at NB’s Ibadan Brewery, the solar energy plant will become operational in 2019.
The landmark project is the first of its kind for Nigeria – a fully-financed solar Power Purchase Agreement for a major Nigerian business customer. CrossBoundary Energy will operate the rooftop facility on behalf of Nigerian Breweries as part of a 15-year solar services agreement. Under the agreement, NB will only pay for solar power produced, receiving a single monthly bill that incorporates all maintenance, monitoring, insurance and financing costs.
The solar plant will supply 1GWh annually to the Ibadan brewery at a significant discount to their current cost of power, while reducing the site’s CO2 emissions by over 10,000 tonnes over the lifespan of the plant.
Jordi Borrut Bel, Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc stated “We are delighted to be a pioneer in the adoption of solar energy in Nigeria. The solar plant will help power our world-class brewery in Ibadan, enabling us to deliver on commitments under our ‘Brewing a Better World’ initiatives and supporting Heineken’s global ‘Drop the C’ programme for renewable energy.”
Heineken’s Drop the C programme for renewable energy aims to grow its share of productionrelated energy sourced from renewables from the current level of 14% to 70% by 2030. “NB’s Brewing a Better World initiative has further targeted a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030”, according to Martin Kochl, Supply Chain Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc.
Femi Fadugba, Head of Business Development for CrossBoundary Energy said: “We’re excited to be helping Nigerian Breweries go solar and to be providing the site with cleaner, cheaper power with no upfront investment or technical risk. I’m also proud that this flagship project – the first of its kind in Nigeria – will be launched in my family’s hometown of Ibadan.”
CrossBoundary Energy has commissioned TPN to design and build the plant as well as performing operations and maintenance immediately after commissioning. Ruud van Milligen, General Manager for TPN said: “We are grateful that we, as an Energy Solutions partner for Nigerian Breweries, and CrossBoundary Energy can contribute to the renewable goals of Nigerian Breweries with our custom-made energy solutions and best-in-class operations and maintenance operations.”
The plant will support the local employment of at least a dozen engineering, construction and maintenance professionals during installation and the 25+ year lifetime of the system, while supporting the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) target of having 2,000MW of power capacity from renewables by 2020.
Through financing packages like the one being offered by CrossBoundary Energy, Nigeria’s renewable energy sector can provide much-needed green jobs, tap global capital, improve access to affordable, reliable power for businesses, and enable Nigeria to fulfil its enormous economic potential. Support for the project has come from Shell Foundation and the Solar Nigeria programme, an initiative implemented by Adam Smith International with funding from UK Aid.
The three-month long GOtv “Top Up” Campaign has entered its final phase and will end on 15 April. The campaign, launched by MultiChoice on 15 January, gives subscribers on GOtv Plus, GOtv Value, and GOtv Lite package the opportunity of getting an upgrade to GOtv Max by paying a reduced fee of N2,500 instead of N3,200, while GOtv ‘tops up’ with N700. The outstanding one month provides an opportunity for customers on lower GOtv packages to renew their subscription by paying N2, 500.
The upgrade will give customers access to a wide range of exciting contents on GOtv MAX. This includes football matches of the La Liga, Serie A, Emirates FA Cup, select matches of the Premier League and UFC; the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. It also gives access to entertainment content on BET, Fox Entertainment, StarLife, ROK 2, CBS Reality,
Also available for viewing are the critically acclaimed telenovela, Ajoche, and thrilling comedy series, Flatmates and The Johnsons, which debuts on GOtv this month on Africa Magic.
Speaking further on this mouthwatering offer, MultiChoice Nigeria’s Chief Customer Officer, Martin Mabutho says: “We are a frontline video entertainment company and our customers’ desires are at the core of the quality of content we have on GOtv. This explains why we don’t want them to miss out on it. So, I suggest they hurry and take advantage of the GOtv ‘Top Up’ offer.”
The Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc has announced its Audited 2018 Financial Results with impressive growths achieved across major financial lines. According to the 2018 financials filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Tuesday, the Africa’s global bank’s gross earnings grew by 7.0 percent to N494.0 billion, compared to N461.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. The Bank’s total assets also grew significantly by 19.7 percent to an unprecedented N4.9 trillion for the year under review.
These results, according to financial analysts largely demonstrates the benefits of the Group’s Pan-African footprints with continued growth in market share in key countries of operation across Africa. The contributions of ex-Nigeria subsidiaries at 40 percent, again confirms the strong footing of the Group’s franchise in Africa. Despite the challenging business environments in Nigeria and across key markets in Africa, the Bank’s Profit Before Tax was quite impressive at N106.8 billion, a 2.4 percent growth, compared to N104.2 billion in 2017 financial year.
In same vein, the Profit After Tax rose by 1.4 percent to N78.6 billion, compared to N77.5 billion recorded in 2017. Due to lower foreign exchange trading income, Operating Expenses grew by 4.1 percent to N197.3 billion, compared to N189.7 billion in 2017 Reflecting the modest appetite of the Bank in the year under review as well as impact of IFRS 9 implementation, net loans recorded a prudent 3.9 percent growth to N1.72 trillion while Customer Deposits increased by a remarkable 22.5 percent to N3.3 trillion, compared to N2.7 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017, reflecting increased customer confidence and enhanced service channels.
Furthermore, Shareholders’ Funds decreased marginally by 4.8 percent to N502.6 billion, reflecting the impact of International Financial Reporting Standards 9 (IFRS 9) implementation. Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Kennedy Uzoka noted that the year 2018 was important for the Group, as it gained further market share in many countries of operation. More so, the CEO was excited at strategic achievements made in the year, including the start of wholesale banking operations in London, as it seeks to leverage the Group’s unique network across Africa.
UBA also opened its 20th African operation. “Defying the relatively weak economic growth in Africa, earnings were positive and we grew our balance sheet by 20 percent, driven by the 23 percent growth in our deposit funding. In a period of economic uncertainty, we have focused on retail deposit mobilization, with exciting results. We recorded a 48 percent year-on-year growth in retail deposits and improved our CASA ratio to 77 percent, optimizing our funding mix, which will enhance our net interest margin (NIM), over the medium term,” Uzoka said. Uzoka remained confident that the Bank’s performance would be even stronger in the years ahead and shareholders would enjoy even greater dividends, as the Group is well positioned to take advantage of imminent fiscal reforms across many economies in Africa, a positive outlook which should stimulate new opportunities in infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and resource sectors. He continued: “Our operations in the United Kingdom now offer end-to-end trade, treasury, structured finance, wholesale deposit taking and ancillary services. With this development, we are better positioned to fulfill our aspiration of deepening trade and capital flows between Europe and Africa.
We are also pleased with the market acceptance of our new operation in Mali”. “Having said this, I am excited by the profitability of our ex-Nigeria subsidiaries, which now contributes an impressive 40 percent earnings to the Group. At the moment, our Nigerian business is benefiting from our product and operational focus, gaining market share – most importantly, the increasing penetration of our retail offerings is reassuring, as this fundamental progress aligns with our strategy of focusing on sustainable growth”.
“With great optimism, we look forward to a more rewarding 2019 for our shareholders, as we further sweat our resources and optimize productivity towards delivering superior returns,” he concluded. Also speaking on the performance, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said that the improving mix of the Bank’s funding base and asset pricing, reinforce a positive outlook on Net Interest Margin(NIM) and broader balance sheet efficiency. “Whilst considerable investment in people, digital transformation and channel enhancement masked cost efficiency gains within the year, with cost-to-income ratio at 64 percent, we are convinced that our diligent execution of new initiatives will ensure the reduction of Cost to Income Ratio(CIR) towards our medium-term target.
Our balance sheet is being positioned to take full advantage of market swings and our strong 25 percent capital adequacy ratio provides headroom for growth, even under a BASEL III scenario. As it stands, UBA has started the year on a good note and should sustain the momentum, as we work towards improving our Return on Average Equity (RoAE),” Nwaghodoh said. United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, operating in 20 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and with presence in France. UBA was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company after taking over the assets of the British and French Bank Limited who had been operating in Nigeria since 1949.
The United Bank for Africa merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005 and from a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – UBA has become one of the leading providers of banking and other financial services on the African continent. The Bank which was awarded the Best Digital Bank in Africa by the Euromoney awards in 2018, provides services to over 17 million customers globally, through one of the most diverse service channels in sub-Saharan Africa, with over 1,000 branches and customer touch points and robust online and mobile banking platforms. The shares of UBA are publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Bank has a well-diversified shareholder base, which includes foreign and local institutional investors, as well as individual shareholders.
A woman in Houston, Texas has given birth to sextuplets, beating the odds to make her one in 4.7 billion. Thelma Chiaka welcomed two sets of twin boys and one set of twin girls on Friday morning at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas.
All six babies were born between 4.50am and 4.59am with weights ranging from one pound, 12 ounces to two pounds, 14 ounces.
According to the hospital, each of the babies is in a stable condition and will continue to be supervised in the advanced neonatal intensive care unit.
The delivery team, led by Dr Ziad Haidar, Dr Sharmeel Khaira and Dr Israel Simchowitz, have said that Chiaka is doing well too.
While Chiaka has yet to name all of her children, the hospital revealed that she has named her two daughters Zina and Zuriel.
Because having sextuplets is so rare, cases often make headlines.
In 1968, a woman in Birmingham became the first to give birth to six babies at once on the NHS. There were 28 medical staff at the delivery.
Fast-forward to 1983 and Janet Walton also made history by giving birth to the world’s first all-female sextuplets in Liverpool.
Walton wrote about her experience of raising her children in her memoir, Six Little Miracles: The Heartwarming True Story of raising the World’s First Sextuplet Girls, which was published in 2015.
- Culled from Independent.
Oil prices dipped on Monday amid concerns that an economic downturn may dent fuel consumption, but crude markets remain broadly supported by supply cuts led by producer group OPEC and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.
Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at 67.03 dollars per barrel at 0231 GMT, down 13 cents, or 0.2 per cent, from their last close, but not far off the 68.14 dollars per barrel 2019-high reached last week.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 were at 58.32 dollars per barrel, down 20 cents, or 0.3 per cent, from their last settlement, and also not far off their 2019-high of 58.95 dollars from the previous week. “The greatest downside risk to our oil price view is demand weakness on slower economic growth.
“Our base case is that global oil demand will increase by 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019… A synchronized global slowdown in growth could push global demand growth to below 1 million bpd,” Bernstein Energy said on Monday.
U.S. manufacturing output fell for a second straight month in February, in a sign that the world’s biggest economy has been slowing down in the first quarter.
In Asia, Japan’s exports fell for a third straight month in February in a sign of growing strain from slowing global demand. In spite this, oil prices have gained around a quarter since the start of the year amid U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, and as the
Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-affiliated allies like Russia – known as OPEC+ – have pledged to withhold 1.2 million bpd in supply to prop up prices.
OPEC’s de-facto leader, Saudi Arabia said on Sunday that balancing oil markets was far from done as inventories were still high.
Russia also said production cuts would stay in place at least until June.
As a result, Bernstein forecast an inventory draw of 37 million barrels in the first quarter for the 36 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which comprises most industrialized nations.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday it expected oil markets to be in a modest deficit from the second quarter.
Key for the supply and demand balance will be the United States, where crude production has soared by around 2 million bpd over the past year, thanks largely to an onshore boom in shale formation drilling.
The number of rigs drilling for new oil production in the United States has been falling in ongoing year, and hit its lowest level since April 2018 last week, at 833 operating rigs.
However, U.S. crude oil production C-OUT-T-EIA still increased at the start of 2019, hitting a record 12.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in February, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed. Output has since dipped back to 12 million bpd, but that still makes America the world’s biggest crude oil producer.
The Delta State Government has said it will punish anyone found culpable in the viral video that shows a schoolgirl, Success Adebor, reportedly sent home over her parents’ failure to pay for her second term examination and books.
The video of Success, a primary three pupil of Okotie-Eboh Primary School 1, Sapele, in the Sapele LGA of the state, had gone viral after she was allegedly sent home by the head teacher.
The seven-year-old girl in the video which has attracted the attention of Nigerian celebrities, has said she preferred to be flogged to being sent out of school.
The Delta state Commissioner for Education, Mr Chiedu Ebie, who spoke to The Punch, noted that the state government operated a free education policy and it was illegal for the school authority to demand examination levy or any other unauthorised levies from pupils.
“The fact is that we (government) operate free education policy in Delta State,” Ebie said.
He claimed that many school heads had been demoted or suspended for imposing unauthorised levies on pupils, explaining that the only authorised levies in the state public school were for consumables and sports wears.
The commissioner, who frowned on the action of the school, said the ministry of education had commenced investigation into the matter and vowed to ensure that anyone found culpable in the illegal levy saga would be sanctioned in line with civil service rules.
He said, “We discovered overtime that some school heads take the laws into their hands by imposing illegal levies. We have battled this in the last three and half years of this administration. We have had school heads suspended and demoted.
“Once again, this is another case of a school head taking the laws into her hands and imposing levies that ought not to be imposed on the pupils.
“We have what we referred to as ‘approved levy’ in our schools. It is issued by the ministry. The approved levy is N100 for consumables and no school head has the right to collect above N100.”
About eight notorious criminals involved in last Tuesday’s attack and subsequent killing of four police personnel at Afuze, headquarters of Owan East local government area have been arrested. The gunmen had used IED to bomb the police station and set some vehicles ablaze.
They took the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the station, Ojo Kosenami and three others to a room, stripped them n*ked before killing them.
Other police officers killed were Sergeant Justina Aghomon, Inspector Sado Isaac and Corporal Glory David.
Police sources told our reporter the gunmen invaded the police station to release one of their gang members who was arrested and detained by the late DPO.
The sources said the leader of the gang offered money to the DPO for bail but he turned it down and insisted that the case be transferred to the police headquarters for further investigation.
Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the feat achieved in arresting the suspects was based on the marching order to the Edo State Police Command by the Governor to fish out the culprits.
He assured that the arrested suspects would be paraded on Monday. According to him: “It is a bit of closure that the police have apprehended some of those suspected to have attacked the police station.
“Though we hear a good number of the suspects have been apprehended, we hope to get more information when the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Muhammed Danmallam briefs the press tomorrow.
“The state government is committed to the security of Edo people and residents in the state. The incident in Afuze is condemnable and we commiserate with the affected families.
“We also hope that the speed at which the suspected culprits were arrested will bring some closure to the families, even as we await the full briefing from the police commissioner.”