Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe(Abia South) is the Minority Leader of the Ninth Senate.
He emerged at an ongoing meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) at the Maitama residence of the National Chairman, Uche Secondus.
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha from Taraba South was returned as Deputy Minority Leader while Senator Philips Aduda(FCT) was retained as the Minority Whip.
The residents of Pearl Garden Estate and Pearl Nuga Park Estate located at Sangotedo in Lekki/Ajah area of Lagos State have petitioned against the CMB Building Maintenance and Investment Company Ltd to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged fraudulent mortgage of some of their homes to secure unapproved bank loans.
Meanwhile, the association of homeowners in the estates have barred representatives of CMB, a building and maintenance firm owned by Kelechukwu Mbagwu from maintaining the homes at Pearl Nuga Park Estate and Pearl Garden Estate.
The separate petitions dated May 28, 2019 and addressed to the EFCC Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, were signed by Mr Patrick Olowokere, the President of Pearl Nuga Estate and Reverend Adesola Adebawo, President of Pearl Garden Estate respectively.
According to the petitioners, CMB obtained a mortgage from Wema Bank Plc using the affected homes at Pearl Nuga Estate as collateral without the knowledge or consent of the affected homeowners.
“The affected homeowners, namely; Bridget Eko, Osagie Aimiehnoho Jude, Mr Akinola Alabi, Mrs Oluwadara Alabi, Nosakhare Igbinobi and Amos Gaga, paid CMB for those houses to be built and had taken possession of their houses from CMB at different times.
“CMB and Mr Mbagwu fraudulently withheld the title deeds of the houses from the affected homeowners as it withheld those of several other homeowners within the estate,” they alleged in a petition duly acknowledged and signed by the EFCC, copy of which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
However, the bank has begun a recovery of the six houses within the estate following the failure of CMB, the property developer, to repay the loan, according to the petitioners.
Similarly, Pearl Garden Estate also accused CMB of using the homes of four of their members — Mr and Mrs Michael Bassey, Mr Oyeleke Jegede, Mr Larry Amaraibi and one Mr Felix — who had already paid in full to allegedly obtain a N10 million loan from Diamond Bank (now Access Bank).
Meanwhile, the association of homeowners in the estates have barred staff or representatives of CMB from Pearl Nuga Park Estate and Pearl Garden Estate.
The petitioners said, “We have no other choice but to believe that other houses of our members and homeowners within the estates may be the subject of similar fraudulent mortgages.’’
Another resident, Mr A. Akeredolu, said: “Some of us have waited endlessly for the commencement of the ‘fictitious’ Pearl Royale Scheme, Pearl Garden Extension and Pearl Nuga Park.
“We paid for these in full since 2010 but have yet to be shown the location of our purchases, let alone the allocations.
“We know projects fail, but they have yet to make any official statement or promise of refund. These people are so bold and fearless, one wonders who is backing them!”
All efforts by our reporter to reach Mr. Mbagwu for his angle to the allegations proved futile as calls and text messages placed to his mobile line were not responded to as at press time.
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi is in hot soup as the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property has referred him to the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Etsu Umar, for prosecution.
In its letter signed on behalf of the chairman of the panel, Okoi Obono-Obla, by Dr. Celsus Ukpong, urged the DPP to prosecute the senator on charges bordering on his failure to declare his assets before the panel in violation of section 3(i)(a) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act 2004.
The letter stated that the violation was punishable by the same provision of the Act.
It stated that it had forwarded draft charges to the DPP.
Accompanying the letter dated June 7, 2019, and received by the DPP office on June 10, 2019, were documents contained in the case file forwarded to the Ministry of Justice.
The letter read, “I am directed to you above-named case file for further action.
“The above suspect is under investigation before us for possession of suspicious assets far and beyond his legitimate earnings.
“He has refused to declare his assets before the panel after lawful demand by the special presidential investigation panel.
“This refusal is contrary to and punishable under section 3(i)(a) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act 2004. It shall be appreciated if a charge is brought against him for his offence pending the conclusion of the investigation.”
A breakdown of the nation’s sobriety pattern shows the South South zone is the least restrained community of alcohol consumers. There, N74.4 billion was spent on alcohol, making the states of Delta, Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Cross Rivers the section of the country inhabiting the most enthusiastic drinkers in the year.
The seven states of Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kano, Sokoto, and Zamfara, making up the North West zone, comparatively have the most restrained drinkers. But they still spent at least N2.6 billion to assuage the palate of alcohol drinkers.
￼Federal statisticians at the NBS say the South East with N44 billion, the South West with N37 billion, the North-central with N30 billion, and the North-east with N19.6 billion follow in that sequence of alcohol consumers in the country.
However, in terms of rural-urban divide, federal statisticians say there are way more drinkers in Nigeria’s rural communities than in the urban areas. Rural communities spent N125 billion naira on alcohol consumption, whilst the urban spend N82.5 billion naira.
￼Abubakar Jimoh, director of special duties for the nation’s food and drug agency, NAFDAC, blamed what appears to be the high level of alcohol consumption in Nigeria on factors that include the relatively unfettered access to the products, and a disposition of Nigerians to abuse the bounds of regulation.
“Many of this alcohol are stored in a sachet and as such it is predisposing people to more alcohol consumption which is injurious to public health, under the realm of packaging and trying to modernise things.
￼“We try to license people in packaging to make things easier for citizens, however, we just discovered that people have started abusing it,” bemoaned Mr. Jimoh who hinted that the administration is in the process of addressing the problem.
“We are trying to see what we can do about that, the discussion is still on and I am not trying to preempt what decision will be taken at the ministerial level. The honourable minister is also involved, trying to see the regulations and how they can protect public health, because the small sachet thing is predisposing people to more alcohol. It is easier for people to buy in small sachets which increases the quantum of the consumed alcohol,” Mr Jimoh told PREMIUM TIMES in an interview.
What health experts say about alcohol consumption
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), one of every 10 cancer cases in Nigeria can be traced to alcohol, and 4.7 per cent of overall cancer cases in Nigeria last year can be attributed to alcohol.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said in 2014, Nigeria consumed an average of 23.1 litres of pure alcohol annually, while 50.1g of pure alcohol is consumed daily by drinkers aged 15 years and above.
￼In its Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health, the WHO also estimates that in 2016 more than three million people died all over the world as a result of the harmful use of alcohol.
This represents 1 in 20 deaths. Men accounted for more than three-quarters of these deaths. Overall, the harmful use of alcohol causes more than five per cent of the global disease burden.
￼Tavershima Adongo, a medical consultant with the medical journalism programme at the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, explained that “Alcoholism is the chronic condition that develops from uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol, leading to a physical and emotional dependence.” He added that “this condition affects about 1.5 million Nigerians yearly, often progressing from a state of alcohol abuse were individuals consume alcohol in sufficient quantities that can be in infrequent periods as once a week.”
Mr Adongo remarks that “immediate short term effects can include systemic effects such as nausea and vomiting, behavioural and mood affectation such as aggression, self destructive tendencies, hyperactivity and anxiety, to long term disease and personality changes that lead to disorganization with an overall effect on individual performance and interpersonal relationships.
￼“Dependence can occur as early as late teenage years -18, through mid adult life to old age >60 years. Studies have shown equal prevalence of consumption among this age range, indicating an early onset age of consumption in the country.
“Alcoholic liver cirrhosis, a disease that results from destruction of the liver cells, resulting from alcohol consumption by itself is reported to progressively lead to death, asides progressing to liver cancer.
“Other conditions such as acute pancreatitis with long term effects of pancreatic cancer have a higher tendency with increased intake.
￼“Drinking can be reduced with preventive strategies of regulation, and rehabilitation of victims which would involve the setting up of treatment centres in rehabilitative facilities. Discontinuing individuals from alcohol involves a programme of medical detoxification -which entails a gradual withdrawal process, as sudden lack of alcohol in the body can also cause mental confusion and emotional disruption and life threatening seizures.
“There exists no regulatory control on alcohol use presently in the country. The Ministry of health and the NAFDAC do not have any regulatory policy on alcohol. In the Northern part of the country Islamic sharia law prohibits consumption through forceful arrests of individuals, and confiscation of products. An expanded policy would be needed if consumption is to be regulated with an impact on health and the market,” Mr Adongo stated.
The issue with illicit production has always been an issue around alcohol. But in Nigeria, no data points to total monetary loss as a result of illicit production and consumption. However, Cameroon, which shares boundary Nigeria, lost 112 million dollars to illicit alcohol in 2014, according to IARD.
A 2017 study of ‘The Illicit Production and Consumption of Ògógóró in Coastal Yorùbáland and the Niger Delta’ by Dọlápọ` Olúpàyímọ of the Adeyemi College of Education in Ondo attributes the revenue leakage to the challenge of regulation because the products are “often traded through distribution networks that are semi-legal or illegal in other ways, usually because they have no NAFDAC registration and/or avoid taxation of Ògógóró (alcohol) and sometimes other traded goods.”
David Opeyemi, who resides in Ilorin, Kwara State, and who says he “drinks to cool down the stress of the day,” links preponderant drinking to a cocktail of factors that include aphrodisiac, recreational, peer pressure, and family history with addiction. He contrasted drinking patterns of the past which for him are moderate to modern drinking predominant among young people and adults within the age of 18 to 45 years of age.
Also, a Lagos-based vulcaniser, who identified himself as Mr Olamilekan, but prefers to be known as “Be Happy,” said, ”When I am troubled I take a minimum of 4 bottles of beer or a large bottle of Lord gin drink.” Pointing to a can of energy drink, Mr Olamilekan said the range of preferred labels in the market now is expanding. He said the lacing of liquor with energy drink has now captured poor consumer imagination at the urban and rural areas. “That works best for us as the beverage of choice,” said the happy vulcaniser. (Premium Times)
President Muhammadu Buhari Yesterday, Wednesday renamed the Abuja National Stadium after late Moshood Abiola, the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 Presidential election.
President Buhari made the announcement while addressing the nation on Democracy Day celebration in Abuja, noting that while alive, Chief MKO Abiola gave immense support to the development of sports in Nigeria and Africa so much that he was named and honoured as Africa’s Pillar of Sports.
He recalled that Chief Abiola formed the Abiola Babes Football Club, which was based in Abeokuta and was one of the big teams that dominated soccer in the country between 1982 and 2001 before it was disbanded.
Buhari decried what he described as “injustice” meted to the winners of the 1993 Presidential Election, and assured that his administration would continue to correct injustices in the society.
“As we all know, correcting injustice is a pre-requisite for peace and unity.
“As part of the process of healing and reconciliation, I approved the recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day and invested late Chief M.K.O. Abiola and Babagana Kingibe with National Honours as I did with late Gani Fawehinmi.
“The purpose was to partially atone for the previous damage done in annulling the Presidential election of that year.
“Today, I propose the re-naming of the Abuja National Stadium. Henceforth it will be called Moshood Abiola National Stadium,’’ he said.
On development of infrastructure, Buhari highlighted that dedicated agro-industrial processing zones would be developed on Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) basis to increase farming yields, agricultural productivity and industrial output; and added that the over 2,000 kilometers of ongoing federal road and bridge projects across the country will be completed to reduce journey times and the cost of doing business.
“As I mentioned earlier, critical feeder roads will be built to facilitate easier transportation for people and goods from rural areas to major roads.
“We are at advanced stages of securing investments to modernize and expand our transmission and distribution infrastructure, ensuring that electricity is available and affordable for all Nigerians.
“Several rail, seaport and airport projects are at various stages of completion. We will open the arteries of transportation nationwide.
“It is a fact that Nigeria has more gas reserves than it has oil. Over the last four years, we have become a net exporter of urea, which is made from natural gas.
In his own contribution, the All Progressives Congress National leader, Senator Bola Tinubu has dedicated the maiden Democracy day celebrations to activists and students, particularly, the late Dr Beko Ransom-Kuti, Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) and many students that sacrificed their lives for the nation to have history.
Speaking at the at the Eagle Square, venue of Democracy Day celebrations in Abuja, Tinubu posited that the victory of MKO Abiola, at the June 12, 1993 presidential election defied tribe, ethnic and religious sentiments and the day marked the beginning of transparent and open democratic system.
According to him, the supreme sacrifice Abiola paid after his monumental victory at that particular period of history is the freedom of democracy we are enjoying, noting that democracy is the most difficult system of government to manage.
“I highly value human commitment to freedom and democracy, we did that and it took 20 years to recognize our efforts,” he said.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Mr Ita Enang stated that the June 12 was not only to celebrate democracy, but to call attention to the sacrifices made by Abiola. The significance of June 12 to Enang was the recognition of the day the first freest election was conducted in Nigeria.
“For the next generation of Nigerians, let the day be a history for them and let them know that civilian government is still better than authoritarian government,” he said.
In Yenagoa, former Bayelsa Governor Timipre Sylva on Wednesday described June 12 2019 Democracy Day as a moment of deep significance in Nigeria’s history.
Sylva indicated this in a statement by his Media Adviser, Mr Julius Bokoru, noting that Nigeria has made significant progress over the years in spite of the daunting challenges.
“Nigeria’s democracy, though still fledgling, has been hard fought and steep to come by.
“It has come at the wake of sacrifices from patriots, extraordinary selflessness from statesmen and above all, unflinching resolve in Nigerians to yearn and strive for a country tall and brave in justice, equity and fairness
In the meantime, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams, on Wednesday urged Nigerians to imbibe the lessons of June 12 struggle by not giving up on the nation’s democracy.
Adams made the call at the commemoration of June 12 Democracy Day in honour of Late Chief MKO Abiola, organised by the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), in Lagos, while speaking on the theme: “The Mantra of June 12 and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria.”
Adwms said the actualisation of June 12 as Democracy day showed there was hope for a better Nigeria.
“Chief MKO Abiola died for democracy to be sustained in Nigeria and the June 12 struggle has been on for 27 years, but we thank God that our struggle ended in victory.
“One of the lessons of June 12 is that you do not give up on a course or a struggle and I urge Nigerians not give up on our democracy.
“With continued struggle, our needs and yearnings as a people will be met someday, just as June 12 has been eventually declared as Democracy day in Nigeria.
“Nigerians must continue to demand for good governance and social justice. In fact, that I’m an Aare Onakakanfo will not stop me from fighting for the rights of Nigerians.
“This is because I’m an Aare with a conscience,” he said, commending President Muhammadu Buhari for recognising June 12 as Nigeria’s rightful Democracy day.
He also urged him to take a step further in honouring the memory of MKO Abiola by recognising that restructuring was the way out of the country’s current challenges, stressing that if Nigeria is restructured, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, herdsmen crisis and insecurity will become history.
Also speaking, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, President, Centre for Change Initiative, urged the Federal Government to make a posthumous declaration of MKO Abiola as a past President of Nigeria.
Okei-Odumakin said that entrenching the ideals of June 12 was the only way to properly immortalize MKO Abiola.
“When we have not restructured and decentralised powers in Nigeria, when we have not conducted free and fair elections, when there is insecurity of lives and property, when Nigerians are yet to be taken out of poverty, then we cannot say we have immortalized Abiola”, Okei-Odumakin concluded.
A customer relationship manager with First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Kehinde Adewuyi, was on Tuesday arraigned before the Igbosere Magistrates’ Court for allegedly converting the sum of N52,628,000 from his employer’s account to his personal use.
The 36-year-old suspect was arraigned on three counts bordering on stealing.
According to the police, the alleged fraud was discovered when the account was audited, which revealed that the accused had defrauded the lender to the tune of N52,628,000.
The police prosecutor, Reuben Solomon, told the court that Adewuyi committed the crime with two others at large between February and March 2019 at the bank’s headquarters in Lagos.
Solomon also alleged that Adewuyi forged the signatures of the Relationship Manager, Mobolaji Sunmoni, and the Group Head, Ademola Adegbusi, to fraudulently withdraw the money from the bank’s account.
Mary said that she heard her baby cries and thought they were collecting the blood sample. She eventually got tired of waiting for her baby to be returned.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, has been recognized for its robust and exceptional human resource practices, thus reaffirming its status as a leading employer brand at the HR People Magazine Awards 2019 Awards held recently in Lagos. Stanbic IBTC won the Best Training, Learning & Development Strategy 2018 and the Outstanding Employee Engagement Strategy 2018 Awards. This makes it the third consecutive year the organisation will be adjudged best among peers for outstanding employee engagement strategy, having received the award back-to-back for 2016 , 2017 and most recently 2018.
These awards come on the back of winning an unprecedented five of a total of nine categories at the same awards last year. Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC has consistently received in the last couple of years a number of local and international HR related awards for its top notch and effective human resources strategy, best practices, employee retention, client testimonials and the organisation’s reputation throughout the business and wider community, employee engagement and productivity levels, among others performance indices.
A representative of the HR People Magazine, a foremost magazine dedicated to the human resources and people development profession covering Nigeria and Africa, explained that the awards are evidence-based, and that the criteria used to select winners include: a demonstrable and effective strategy to drive the HR process in all the award categories, ability to show consistent best practice implementation within the organisation, evidence-based programmes and the impact of these programmes on the organisation.
Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, Mr. Yinka Sanni, mentioned that winning awards in Human Resources underlines Stanbic IBTC’s strategy of growing a responsible, disciplined, motivated and highly productive workforce. It also reinforces the company’s strong management, systems and its leadership in the Financial Services industry.
According to Sanni, being selected for recognition is a constant reminder for us to always strive to epitomize one of our eight core values, which is to constantly raise the bar. He said that the organisation will continue to upskill its people and provide them with the most conducive environment, the right tools and adequate incentives to win their commitment as well as grow its people which is a testament to Stanbic IBTC’s continuous investments in its human capital and the establishment of people-friendly procedures and practices.
“We are indeed grateful to the organisers for these awards and are delighted to be recognised for our strong human capital strategies and deliberate and consistent investments in our people. For us, a highly motivated workforce, one that can deliver better services, is a function of the level of investment in our human capital for professional and personal development that helps to create a productive workforce whilst fulfilling individual career aspirations,” Sanni said.
Mr. Dapo Saheed, Editor-in-Chief of HR People Magazine, affirmed that the awards were instituted to celebrate the significant role of human resources in achieving both people and business excellence. Also, to create a platform which unites and supports the growth of HR in Nigeria and Africa at large. “These tributes were instituted to reward companies and HR managers who have strategies in place to engender a work-life harmony. They prioritise human capital as essential to delivering superior value to stakeholders and this is reflective in people-related investments, processes, policies and practices put in place.”
Country Head, Human Capital, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, Mrs. Olufunke Amobi, expressed her appreciation and thanked HR People Magazine for the recognition, even as she assured that the organisation will not rest on its oars in ensuring a productive and motivated workforce.