A suspected kidnapper, Sani Haruna aka Gayu, who was arrested by the Inspector General of Police special team has confessed to Saturday Vanguard that he has lost count of the number of people he killed for failing to pay ransom.
￼In an interview at one of the safe locations in Abuja where he is being held, the 20-year-old father of two said he did not take part in kidnapping, adding that he was in charge of the security of the kidnapped victims.
He said he was the one who was detailed to kill any of the victims who was unable to pay a ransom as demanded by his boss.
He said since he was in charge of securing the victims and killing them if they failed to pay the ransom, he was trained by his boss on how to handle weapons, especially AK 47 which he described as the choice weapon of the kidnappers.
Katsina, Zamfara, and Kaduna-Abuja highway axis
Sani Haruna, who spoke with Saturday Vanguard in Hausa, however, begged the Federal Government to give him a second chance to join forces with the police to fish out other kidnappers operating in Katsina, Zamfara, and Kaduna-Abuja highway axis of the country.
“My name is Sani Haruna. I am the guard for kidnapped persons where they were kept in the bush in Katsina State. I have been doing that for one year. Before joining this, I was a herdsman. It was from herding cows that I was invited to be guarding kidnapped victims by one of the commanders.”
He said he was recruited into the kidnap ring when he approached one of the commanders to inform him that he was looking for a job after losing his cows to rustlers.
Haruna added that he was trained to handle guns, noting that he was given a military camouflage uniform in his new role as a guard.
I’ve lost count
Asked how many people he killed in the last one year while working as a kidnapper, Haruna said: “ In God’s name, I have lost count because I don’t keep a record of the people I kill but I know they are many”.
He, however, said on the day he was arrested, he had already killed three people within the interval of three days.
Asked why he killed them, he said his superiors told him that if the kidnap victims were not killed, they would kill him.
“Even when I didn’t want to kill them, I was always afraid because it could amount to disobeying the directive of my boss. I might even be killed,” he said.
He added that amongst the kidnappers, there was a sheik in charge of preparing corpses for burial according to Islamic rites.
“The mallam will prepare them according to Islamic rites, pray for their souls and we will bury them properly,” he said.
He said though he was married with a child, his wife was not aware of his criminal activities because he never disclosed them to her.
The suspect said the military uniform he wore and the arms he carried were provided by his bosses.
Join hands with the police
He said he knew what he was doing was bad but he was afraid of leaving them because he would have been killed.
Asked what his appeal to government and the police was, he said if he regained freedom, he would join hands with the police to fish out other kidnappers since he knew their modus operandi and where they are based.
It would be recalled that Haruna was earlier paraded on June 3, 2019, by the police as one of those arrested by the Police Special Tactical Team (STS) led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Kolo and IGP’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT) commanded by DCP Abba Kyari.
The arrests were in pursuant to Operation Puff Adder launched to hunt kidnappers, bandits, cattle rustlers, and armed robbers.
During the parade, some of the suspects were alleged to have smuggled thousands of rifles and ammunition into Nigeria from Libya and Burkina Faso through Benin Republic and Niger Republic. 6000 Rounds of Ak47 ammunition and several Ak47 rifles and pistols were recovered.
The suspects confessed to importing and selling rifles and ammunition to kidnappers, armed robbers and other criminals in Nigeria. (Vanguard)
Popular American singer Rihanna has been named as the richest female musician with $600 million fortune, just a few days after Jay Z was declared the first billionaire in hip-hop history.
Rihanna was declared the richest after her fortune surpassed Madonna’s who has $570 million, Celine Dion with $450 million and Beyonce who garnered $400 million.
The singer’s wealth came from her music, make-up brand Fenty Beauty co-owned by French luxury giant LVMH in September 2017 online and with Sephora.
Due to Rihanna’s fame, the line recorded a revenue of $570 million last year just 15 months of business.
According to Forbes, the singer makes her money from touring and musical releases, however, she makes money from co-owning Savage X Fenty lingerie line.
Back in May, Rihanna signed a deal with LVMH to launch a luxury fashion brand based in Paris which will produce readymade clothes, shoes, and accessories.
“I just want to see things from my perspective. I’m a young black woman who loves and embraces all of the young people’s ideas and energies,” she told AFP in Paris recently.
“It is about turning all of that into something luxurious for this fashion house.”
In addition to her venture into luxury fashion, Rihanna has hinted at dropping a new reggae album this year.
“I never thought I’d make this much money, so a number is not going to stop me from working,” she told The New York Times’ T Magazine in May.
“Money is happening along the way, but I’m working out of what I love to do, what I’m passionate about.”
… Nigerian Army Director of Chaplain Services Applauds Initiative
Kenneth Ekhuemelo, the inaugural winner of Hymnodia, has been presented with a brand-newcar, the star prize of the triple ‘E’ (entertainment, education and edification) reality television show created around hymns and worship.
The presentation, which attracted jubilant worshippers, took place at the All Saints (Army Headquarter) Cathedral, Abalti Barracks, Surulere, Lagos, on Sunday, where Ekhuemelo is an organist.
Hymnodia organisers had promised the winner of the competition a brand new car, in addition to the ASAPH, the main prize specially designed and named after King David’s chief musician, as well as N5 million.
Hymnodia was a keenly contested show as Ekhuemelo battled with Olumide Dada, another brilliant and leading performer at the grand finale. But a winner had to emerge, and that was Ekhuemelo, the bassofundo.
The hymncert ended the 14-week show piece that was aimed at reigniting the almost-forgotten hymn culture among young Nigerians.
Explaining the rationale for the presentation at the church, KufreEkanem, Managing Director of Philosoville, initiator of Hymnodia said the reality show redefined the art of worship and that since hymn has its foundation in the church, it was wise to bring the car to worship with Ekhuemelo.
“Ekhuemelo is an organist in All Saints Cathedral, and this also shows that the members are part of his success story,” he explained.
On what inspired Hymnodia, Ekanem said “we had thought over the idea of Hymnodia for 10 years. This had to do with the concept itself and the rigours of how it would work, what would be the processes, the protocol of developing the content and sustaining its essence over a 14-week period and beyond. When we finally started on it last year, we were blessed with a group of fantastic people who put their efforts into Hymnodia as if they had the dream themselves. They were dream enablers and I appreciate their great works and sacrifices” he narrated.
Commending Hymnodia for the novel initiative, Rev. (Col.) Bante Kauche, Director, Chaplain Services, Nigerian Army, eulogised Ekanem for the initiative which was thoroughly planned and executed to an appreciable standard.
He said Hymnodia has tremendously enhanced the talent of the 14 hymntestants, including Ekhuemelo, as well as young Nigerians who watched the programme.
Also, Rev. (Major) Baba David, Vicar General of All Saints (Army Headquarter) Cathedral, said Ekanem has taken hymns rendition beyond the ordinary and prayed God to strengthen him in order to sustain the programme. “I am highly elated because a member of this church emerged the winner and prayed for him to be fortified with the Grace to continue in this stride,” he said.
Receiving the car prize with joy written all over him, the bassofundo thanked the initiator of Hymnodia for the opportunity to learn new skills on hymns writing and rendition at the Hymnstitute and for the fulfilment of the prize.
“I am very delighted to receive the car and it came as a surprise to me to see it being delivered at the church today. I see this as a divine blessing from God and I really appreciate Hymnodia. At the Hymnstitute, I boosted my talent through teachings on the fundamentals of hymns writing and singing,” he further said.
Hymnodia was flagged-off at a colourful event with a 30-member choir last December at the Ikeja City Mall, Lagos. Live audition for over 200 shortlisted candidates from over 1,500 applications was held at the Lagos Television (LTV8), where 14 hymntestants (contestants) were selected to the Hymnstitute for a 14-week show.
It culminated on April 24 with the grand finale at the MUSON centre where Ekhuemelo was declared the winner via a combination of public votes and a panel of credible judges. The judges included legendary musician, Onyeka Onwenu; singer, songwriter and voice coach, Dupe Ige Kachi (popularly known as Ige Sings);Sunday Olawuwo the Music Director of Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja and Nigeria Country Director of the Royal School of Church Music; and Seun Owoaje, the Music Director of Hymnodia.
Hymnodia was first aired on February 3, 2019, as a one-hour programme on Lagos Television (Channel 256 on DSTV, Channel 90 on GOtv and Channel 113 on Startimes) with a magazine show on same channels every Thursday.
It was streamed live online via the LTV App available on the app store and on the dedicated YouTube channel, Hymnodiahq. The show was also viewed on eight additional stations around the country for wider coverage. They included GITV, Kaduna; Anambra Broadcasting Service, Onitsha; Ondo State Radio/TV, Akure; ITV, Abuja and Cross River TV, Calabar.
Others were Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC); Kwara TV, Ilorin and Plateau Radio TV, Jos.
As the country marks the 2019 Children’s Day, leading Nigerian Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) has launched a nationwide initiative, tagged #BeatTheDistance, to improve educational outcomes for children in rural communities by easing the difficulties they face with mobility to school and back. Through the initiative, the Bank is providing students in remote parts of the country with bicycles to reduce the time and energy they expend in getting to school whilst helping to boost their attendance and focus on academics.
One of the biggest barriers to education for millions of children in Nigeria’s rural communities is often the physical act of getting to school, which could be as far as 10 kilometers away from home. The challenge of covering such a distance twice every day on foot, coupled with the responsibility of doing chores in the morning, significantly curtails school attendance rate increases the chances of students dropping out, and hampers academic performance. By providing them with bicycles, the Bank aims to empower the children most affected by these challenges beat the distance, not just to school, but between their present realities and immense potential.
Organized as part of the GTBank CSR Action for Rural Empowerment Scheme (GTBank CARES), the initial stage of the #BeatTheDistance initiative will focus on children in 20 rural communities across the Taraba, Enugu and Ondo States.
Jerry Hannatu, a student of Government Technical Training School, Jalingo, is one of the first beneficiaries of the initiative. Before receiving the bicycle from GTBank, he had to trek for an hour and a half to get to school. Now, his 10-kilometer journey to school takes him about a quarter of that time. Jerry and other beneficiaries like him will now be able to spend less time traveling to school and more time in the classroom improving their academic performance and attaining the skills and knowledge to reach their full potential.
Commenting on the Bank’s #BeatTheDistance initiative, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, said; “Children are our greatest hope for a better future, and it is our duty to ensure that every child has access to quality education regardless of their socioeconomic background or geographic location.As an institution that is passionate about empowering young people to reach their full potential, this initiative reflects our commitment to building a society where distance is no longer a barrier to education for any child, and in every community.”
He further stated that “At GTBank, we will continue to leverage our unique capabilities and broad networks to help people and communities thrive. Whether we are intervening in public education, investing in underserved communities, promoting the Arts or working to protect the environment, we are constantly looking for creative and impactful ways to touch lives and give back to society.”
GTBank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run African financial institutions across it’s subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world-class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality, and innovation.
The Bank, through its clearly defined Corporate Social Responsibility, champions education for all, empowers under-served people and communities expand access to healthcare, promotes African Art and advocates for environmental protection. In 2018 alone, the Bank carried out more than one hundred CSR projects across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and supporting some of the most underserved communities in the country.
It was a marriage doomed from the beginning, and after 13 years, it culminated in a tragedy. Presently, the couple, who live in Lafia, capital of Nasarawa State, are gradually coming to terms with the fact that they have opened a Pandora’s box.
It started with the husband’s deceit hiding his impotency from the woman he intended to marry; it got messier with the woman’s effort to break her 12-year barrenness by sleeping with the houseboy and she committed worse sin by murdering the 21-year-old househelp in order to keep her secret. Then a final twist: it turned out the houseboy was actually her husband’s son, born out of wedlock while he was a randy youth. This family calamity with the accompanying incest and murder was spawned by too many secrets between husband and wife.
Strange and improbable it may sound, this is actually a true-life story, a revelation that came straight from the horse’s mouth from the main protagonist herself the nine-month pregnant wife, Rebecca Bako, who prodded by guilty conscience on her own volition knocked on the door of a minister on May 20, 2019, to narrate the travails of her matrimony.
Rebecca Bako, arriving at the minister’s house by 8 am at first sat quietly on the bench outside. Few minutes later, she was sharing her story with the pastor in the presence of Saturday Sun correspondent.
It was a bizarre, complex, mind-numbing story of 12 years of fruitless marriage, with what would have been the climax the birth of the nine-month pregnancy becoming an anticlimax.
What was Rebecca’s purpose for involving the pastor? To make a confession, seek God’s forgiveness and plead with the pastor to talk to her husband to forgive her, she clarified.
In an emotion-laden voice, the beleaguered housewife recounted how a perfect marriage gradually turned sour due to barrenness. Her narrative highlighted the aggravating factors, such as a toxic mother-in-law who harangued her endlessly, her husband’s lackadaisical attitude to their childlessness, her own fear of impending menopause and the bad advice of Rose, her childhood friend.
A marriage doomed by childlessness
Before she began her story proper, Rebecca Bako spent two minutes wiping her tears.
She started with a recollection of the sunny days. “He was my best friend before we got married. We had a beautiful wedding. Our honeymoon was fun. We were ready to have children as quickly as possible so we could move on.”
As with most marriage, barrenness begets misery.
“After 12 years, I didn’t conceive, I became apprehensive because I was not young any longer and I was nearing menopause. My mother-in-law was even more desperate. She pressured her son to take another wife. I understood her position. My childhood friend, Rose, who is married in Makurdi, advised us to adopt a child, but my husband wouldn’t buy the idea.
“My mother-in-law later came to live with us in the house and she became my nightmare. She made life a living hell for me, to the extent that I contemplated suicide countless times because she insulted me and claimed that I charmed her son who is the only son in the family.”
A friend’s sinful counsel
At her wit’s end, she turned to friends for advice.
“At a point, I had to share my experience with my friend, Rose, who confessed to me that she once faced a similar problem. She suggested that perhaps my husband might have been the source of the problem all these years. Her advice to me was to find a younger lover and try having sex with him to see whether it would work. According to her, that was how she gave birth to her three children. When she discovered that her husband was finding it difficult to impregnate her after more than two years of marriage, she devised a means of bearing children for him by having an affair outside, and it had worked perfectly for her, that had been the secret to her 10 years of a successful marriage.”
Rebecca recounted her friend’s advice to her: “Go for a guy who is not yet married, who is strong enough to give you the best of sexual satisfaction any time an opportunity presents itself, whether in the night or daytime. An unmarried man can easily walk away without accepting responsibility since he will equally get married someday to raise his own family, so there won’t be complications of laying claims to the child, but do not let the guy know that he is responsible.”
She at first found such advice impracticable. “I had never cheated on my husband before,” Rebecca said. “But I was equally considering my age too just a year away from menopause. For several weeks, I thought over it. I didn’t understand how I would submit my private part to a man other than my own husband; I didn’t know how to find a man who would sleep with me, get me pregnant, and then just walk away.”
Unfortunately, she had, at the time, reached the limit of her endurance, and the circumstance around her was not in her favour. “I’d prayed to God for a way out, but I didn’t get any immediate solution; worse still, I was conscious of my fast-approaching menopause. I concluded that if I did not act fast, I risked losing my marriage once I reach menopause the following year because my mother-in-law was not ready to take chances. She had taken the matter seriously that I must give way for her son to marry another wife who can bear her grandchildren.”
Seducing the houseboy
Bako decided to take her chances after giving the issue a lengthy contemplation.
“I concluded that it is better I sleep with our houseboy, Kenneth, who is 21 years old. I had seen his crotch whenever he wore his boxer to keep the house clean. I realised that his manhood was long and sizeable enough to perform such functions. My husband had brought Kenneth from his village to live with us. He had just finished his secondary school and was preparing to go to university. I started admiring him anytime my husband went to work.
I summoned the courage and made advances, wooing him with gifts like new trousers and shirts, takeaway food and other attractive items. In no time, he succumbed to me and we started having sex. I warned him never to reveal it and threatened to kill him if tries it. He was not too perfect in bed because of his age, but he was strong enough to give me sexual satisfaction because it takes him longer to release. We progressed in that direction and it became regular.
“After two months of this, I missed my period and the result was pregnancy. I was very happy and informed my friend, Rose that her advice has worked; what my husband could not do for 12 years, Kenneth has done it in less than three months.”
Another diabolical advice
After about four months, Rebecca’s friend, Rose sold her another terrible suggestion. She asked her to eliminate the houseboy who impregnated her. Her reason: He might one day reveal the secret and try to claim the child, thereby bringing shame and embarrassment to the couple.
“Something held me back because he was innocent and did not offend me,” she claimed. “After all, I lured him into having an affair with me against his wish.”
She continued: “But Rose continued to pester me, pointing out the dangers to me. Eventually, I had mixed Sniper (a deadly insecticide), otapiapa and rat killer with his food. I kept the meal for him and went to the hospital for medical checkup. Before my return, he had eaten the poisoned food and later died of stomach pain after four hours in the hospital.”
She cleverly managed the aftermath by convincing her husband the houseboy’s death could be due to spiritual attacks from the village. One week after his death, the body of the 21-year-old was buried, in December 2018.
“I was sad after his death. I regretted taking such action. I prayed to God to forgive all my sins and I distanced myself from Rose––I stopped picking her calls.”
While the death of the houseboy has eliminated the possible risk of future embarrassment, all she got was cold comfort.
“I notice that my husband was sad and affected by Kenneth’s untimely death. He was affected psychologically so much so it almost cost him his job at the bank. He ceased to be a happy man, even with my pregnancy. I tried severally to discuss with him about the future of my unborn baby, but it never interests him, at the time, I was in the fifth month of my pregnancy. Even though the test shows that we are expecting a baby boy, the man was still not happy at all.”
Then comes the dark secret
Three months later, early in the morning of April 30, 2019, her husband had abruptly woken her. She came awake to find him in a disturbed and depressed state. The man broke down, crying uncontrollably, unable to tell his wife the cause of his misery.
After a 30-minute cry jag, he was calm enough to tell her why he was crying.
He narrated a terrible and shocking story.
Rebecca recalled: “He started by apologising to me for not being fair to me by hiding from me what he ought to have told me from the first day of our marriage 13 years ago. I was confused. What fairness is he talking about? I became curious. Could it be that I am not the only one hiding secrets in this marriage?”
She recalled verbatim what her husband told her.
“He said: “While growing up many years ago, I lived a very rough life. I contracted a Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and was too ashamed to go to the hospital to treat it, but opted for a local treatment, which was not working. Later I had some medical complications, the untreated virus damaged my testicles and rendered me impotent forever. I didn’t know how to tell you all these years, but earlier before the infection, my girlfriend then in my diploma programme years back got pregnant for me, and refused to abort it, and that cost our relationship. But after three years, she brought a boy to my father. I wanted to reject it but my father accepted the boy and took responsibility while I proceeded to the university. It was the same girl that gave me the disease. She died a few years later as a result of the complications too.”
At this point, his wife had asked about the whereabouts of the boy and how he was faring. Her husband’s reply confirmed her worst fear: “The boy is the late Kenneth who had lived with us as a houseboy. I didn’t want you to know his true identity. I was afraid you might maltreat him or even kill him as most women do to children who are born into their matrimonial homes from another woman. I wanted to protect him since I wasn’t going to be able to get a woman pregnant in my lifetime again.”
The embattled husband once again burst into tears. The couple then came to the knotty part of their matrimonial misfortune when the husband dropped the next bombshell: “ I knew all these while that the baby in your womb is not my own, but I was too ashamed to confront you; now that everything has come to the open, please tell me, who is the father of our unborn child?”
This was how Rebecca found herself in a classic catch-22 situation. At that point, it was clear lies would further complicate the situation.
She decided to come clean, she claimed.
“I burst into tears and cried uncontrollably. I found it difficult to explain to him. Since he had been plain with me, I knelt before him in tears and confessed to him that the late Kenneth was the father of my unborn baby boy and that I was also responsible for his death. I pleaded with him to forgive me of all my sins, that I took that course of action to protect the marriage, and the consolation is that the new baby boy will replace his late son.”
According to Rebecca, her husband’s mien had briefly reflected anger when he learnt about the circumstances surrounding his son-houseboy death. He, however, appeared conciliatory, advising his wife to let go of the past.
Since their mutual confessions three weeks ago, life has not been the same between the Bako couple. Deteriorating relation between them has put Rebecca on tenterhooks.
“My husband has become a changed person completely,” she said. “He has emaciated, looking sorrowful nowadays. He hardly eats at home. He keeps late nights. As a banker, he gets home around 7 pm. Yet, he still goes out, which is very unusual of him. We hardly talk now. He hardly responds to my conversations. I am worried and even afraid to stay with him under the same roof. I suspect that he might also kill my son too when I delivered. His aloofness really worries me.”
On that note she concluded her story, bursting into tears again.
Pastor Joshua promised to meet with the husband by the weekend to hear his own side of the story before taking any decision.
Saturday Sun correspondent who was privy to the confession subsequently contacted Rebecca’s husband, who was hardly available due to the tight schedule of his job.
Daniel Bako was forthright in his response. “My brother, I am not myself. I am confused. I don’t deserve to be alive again. I am contemplating suicide. I wanted to give Kenneth the best education because he was my own blood, my only child in my entire life. I am yet to decide whether to be alive or not.”
On his wife, he is “confused about what to do with her.” He said: “It is not enough to kill my son in the name that she wants to protect the marriage. What marriage? What she did is an unforgiving crime, even if he (Kenneth) was not my son, it is wrong anywhere.” (The Sun)
The National Film and Video Censors Board has set up three panels to analyse and classify a film titled, ‘Bob Risky in Love’ starring Idris Okunneye aka Bob Risky.
The movie was produced by Nollywood Namaste Production company while Ken Steve Anuka was the director.
In the movie, Bob Risky portrays a transgender woman named Cherechi who travelled out of the country as a man only to return to the village as a woman to the chagrin of his fiancee and relatives.
In the soundtrack of the movie, members of the public are encouraged to accept Cherechi aka Cherry B as a transgender.
However, a top official of the NFVCB told The PUNCH that three separate panels have been set up at the zonal levels to classify the Bob Risky movie.
He, however, said it must be noted that Nigeria has laws that prohibit homosexuality and therefore work of arts that promote it cannot be endorsed by the government.
The official said, “We have set up three different panels to view the movie which was given to us by the producers for classification and review.
“For the purpose of fairness and objectivity, we will not give specific details since evaluation is still ongoing but note that any movie that promotes homosexuality in contravention of our laws cannot be endorsed.
“Latest by next week we will deliver a verdict on the movie. If the movie is banned, it would be communicated to the producers and our enforcement team would mop up all copies of the film on the market and defaulters would be apprehended and fined appropriately.”
The movie, which was released a few weeks ago already has over 500,000 views on YouTube and has garnered thousands of comments.
The official told our correspondent that the board was already aware of the fact that the video was online.
He said there was a need for the enabling laws to be reviewed such that online viewing would also be subject to censorship.
He said, “When classifying movies, we consider its cultural value, we check whether it is divisive given the fault lines of Nigeria as regards religion and tribe.
“We check its message, whether it promotes things that we find repugnant in our nation; we check the level of violence portrayed in the movie as well as sexual content and other things.
“Usually, it takes a minimum of one week and a maximum of two weeks for a movie submitted to us to be classified. But the online phenomenon is changing things and there is a need for us to adapt to new realities.”
The NFVCB is the regulatory body set up by Act No.85 of 1993 to regulate films and video industry in Nigeria.
The board is empowered by law to classify all films and videos whether imported or produced locally.
It is also the duty of the board to register all films and video outlets across the country and to keep a register of such registered outlets among other functions.
Lifestyle choices such as your daily diet play a significant role in your overall health, hence, it could either increase or drastically reduce your cancer risks.
Excessive consumption of these eight popular foods has been proven to increase the likelihood of developing cancer.
Studies have linked the consumption of grilled meat to cancer. This is as a result of certain chemicals that are formed when meats are heated under high temperature.
During the grilling process, the amino acids and sugar in meats form heterocyclic animes, a chemical that causes cancer growth.
Refined sugar is also known to promote cancer cell growth. Naturally, cells require sugar to grow but refined sugar consumed in large amounts spikes up your insulin level, this, in turn, drives the development of cancer cells.
It is advised to cut down on refined sugar products like candy, cookies, sweetened tea.
Potatoes chips/ Browned toasts
Potato chips and browned toasts contain acrylamide, a dangerous chemical that may cause cancer. These chemicals are formed during the cooking process which usually demands a high temperature.
In fact, the higher temperatures and longer cooking time result in higher acrylamide levels. Although heating your chips and toasts above 120 degrees may come will a great texture and delicious taste, it also exposes you to cancer.
Energy drinks, soda and other soft drinks are a common diet for many. However, these drinks also fuel cancer growth.
Consuming one soft drink per day, according to research, increases your risks to 13 types of cancer. These soft drinks contain an alarming amount of sugar that accelerate the growth of tumours.
Farmed fish basically cultivated for commercial purpose in a controlled environment. They are rich in protein and contain more fats than wild fish.
However, farmed fish are often fed with genetically modified foods/organisms which may increase cancer risks.
Hydrogenated oils are chemically extracted from their source. They contain trans-fat which causes cancer.
They are chemically treated and packed with unhealthy omega-3, a component that alters cell structure to increase cancer risks.
You should consider alternative nutrient-rich oils such as olive and coconut oil while avoiding products made with hydrogenated oils.
Alcohol has been linked to seven types of cancer including mouth, liver, esophageal, breast, colorectal cancer.
Alcoholic beverages contain ethanol and acetaldehyde, two harmful chemicals that cause damage to healthy human cells.
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an industrial chemical used by many manufacturers to produce packaging items such as cans and bottled.
BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which implies that it interferes with the human hormone system, and more scientific findings have shown that it’s exposure to food is linked to cancer.
For many years, Dana Air, a domestic airline operator in Nigeria, raised millions of naira through in-flight donations to Sri Sai Vandana Foundation, an illegal organisation that was not registered until October last year after the ICIR started its investigations into the airline’s charity business.
About halfway through the Lagos-Abuja Dana Air flight, after serving snacks and beverage, a plea comes for passengers to donate to charity and a member of the cabin crew thereafter goes through the aisle, handing down envelopes to passengers who indicate interest.
On one side of the envelope is a superimposed picture of four kids, one has stunted hair growth, another has bulging eyes and all four of them show signs of deprivation with a bold print that pleads with the passenger, “Please give to change my life”. The other side of the envelope shows evidence of what the donation achieves – pictures of children with disability being catered for in an orphanage, plus a detailed explanation about the organisation that receives the donation and its charitable activities.
The passengers’ donation goes to Sri Sai Vandana Foundation, which claims to be a charitable trust founded in 1995 in Nigeria through which the Dana group of companies fulfils its corporate social responsibility. But when The ICIR started investigating the utilisation of the inflight donation, it discovered that the foundation was not registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), a fundamental requirement for running a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Nigeria.
All registered NGOs in the country are required to file annual returns to CAC, thus serving as monitoring and regulatory mechanism. Apart from the CAC registration, NGOs in the country are also obliged to get certification from the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUMUL), a unit of the Ministry and Trade and Investment that works closely with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In July 2018, The ICIR sent an email and text messages to the Dana Group, asking if the foundation was registered with CAC, how much had been raised from the inflight donation, the names of the organisations that the foundation claimed it has partnered with in delivering charitable activities, and how much each of these organisations received from the foundation.
The Dana Group declined to respond but two months later, specifically on October 19, Sri Sai Vandana Foundation was registered with CAC. That was after many years of its illegal operation in the country and unlawfully receiving donations from Nigerians.
Charity or greed?
The inflight envelope donation was initiated on Dana Air in 2009, about a year after the airline commenced operation in Nigeria. Investigations show that it was the idea of Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria, carried over from the defunct Bellview Airline.
“We introduced that scheme [inflight envelope donation] in Nigeria,” Ebenezer Adeleye, programme coordinator of Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria, told The ICIR last week in his office in Lagos. “We started with the defunct Bellview. It was when Bellview folded up that Dana took it up but apparently they saw it as some sort of lucrative thing. They edged us out and started their own.”
Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria’s partnership with Dana Air started in September 2009 and ran till June 3, 2012, when the airline’s plane crashed in Lagos, killing 159 people. Nigerian aviation authorities consequently suspended the airline.
When Dana Air resumed full commercial flight operation in January 2014, the Dana Group had decided to discontinue the partnership with the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria and printed its own inflight envelope donation to raise money for a foundation.
“By the time we asked if they still wanted to do that [the partnership] they said no,” Adeleye said. “Actually, people on that flight told us that ‘they are seeing envelopes on Dana Air but it is no longer Sickle Cell Foundation envelopes.’”
Adeleye disclosed that about N18 million was raised from the inflight donation for nearly two and a half years period that the partnership lasted. Then, the Sickle Cell Foundation printed and branded the envelopes with key messages on sickle cell, a genetic disease that has more people living with it in Nigeria than anywhere else in the world.
Adeleye explained that the partnership with Dana Air then was transparent. The Sickle Cell Foundation’s staffers would jointly remove the donated money from the envelopes with Dana staffers. The money would be jointly counted, recorded in a logbook and deposited into the foundation’s account.
“We are proud to say that all the monies to build this centre were from Nigerians, not a kobo from outside,” Adeleye said, adding that if the partnership with Dana Air had continued, the foundation could have achieved more.
The Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria has its impressive Sickle Cell Centre opposite the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital and runs dedicated sickle cell clinics in four states. The centre has a laboratory that runs prenatal screening for sickle cell. “Those are some of the things such money [donation] should be doing,” Adeleye said. “We are just filing gap that the government is found wanting.”
At the time of the launch of the inflight envelope donation, Ramesh Hathiramani, chairman of Dana Group, said the collaboration was to raise money for the Sickle Cell Centre. “We believe that the contributions of our passengers will go a long way towards funding some of the projects of the Centre and ensuring that all persons affected by the disorder can live normal pain-free lives,” he said.
Chasing passengers’ donation
The ICIR obtained three different envelopes that the foundation has used to solicit money from Dana Air passengers since it started its own charity scheme. The ICIR could not establish the year each of the envelopes was printed. Nevertheless, the changes in the envelopes contain invaluable information.
The first envelope did not have an account number and phone number. It simply refers passengers to “further donation by cheque can be addressed to our office”. The envelope also has a picture of a group of children with special needs. Underneath the picture is “some of our staff with the underprivileged children at Sai Orphanage-Ajah, Lagos.” The ICIR could not trace the location of this orphanage and could not find it in the list of registered orphanages in Lagos.
The envelope was later replaced by another one, which contains a phone number for further enquiries and an account number at Wema Bank with the name of the foundation. However, a reference to Sai Orphanage is missing in this second envelope.
Meanwhile, providing an account number raises a fresh question. How can an entity that is not registered to operate in the country open a bank account? For NGO to open an account with any bank, it has to provide evidence of legal registration with the CAC. For a few years now, banks have also requested for SCUML certification for NGOs before they can open bank accounts.
The ICIR sent enquiries to Wema Bank to explain how the bank opened an account for a non-profit organisation that was not registered with the CAC then. Both Funmi Falola, the bank’s head of Brand and Marketing Communications and Tunde Mabawonku, the bank’s Chief Finance Officer, declined to respond.
When The ICIR reporter met Falola at the bank’s headquarters in Marina, Lagos, she confirmed that she received The ICIR’s enquiries but she ignored them because she did not have a response. “Yes, I received the SMS but I still do not have a response,” she said.
The ICIR discovered that Ramesh Hathiramani, chairman of Dana Group, is a director in Wema Bank, with substantial shareholding.
The current envelope which is the third in its development adds a misleading email address that enquiries can be sent to. The email address is email@example.com. But Sathya Sai is an international non-denominational voluntary organisation, founded by a spiritual teacher, Sathya Sai Baba. It originated from India and has branches in many countries, including Nigeria. The ICIR discovered that Ramesh Hathiramani, chairman of Dana Group, is the chair of Zone 9A (Africa) Sathya Sai International Organisation.
The ICIR asked the Dana Group to account for the inflight donation from Dana Air passengers since July 2018, but the request had been ignored until recently.
Okwudili Ezenwa, Media and Communications manager at Dana Air told The ICIR that the questions about the expenditure of the inflight donation would take a long time to respond to. He, however, agreed to meet the reporter at Dana House in Isolo, Lagos to talk about some of the questions raised by The ICIR. But two days to the appointment, Ezenwa called on phone to say that he had to travel and would not be available for the interview again.
The ICIR had asked Ezenwa to send the annual reports of the Sri Sai Vandana Foundation, even if other requests would take the foundation longer time to respond to. Although he agreed to attend to the request, The ICIR has not received any official response from the Dana Group and its foundation.
After Ezenwa cancelled the appointment, The ICIR reporter still went to Dana House to see the coordinator of the foundation but was turned away at the gate after the security officer called someone to ask for permission.
The reporter had earlier called the phone number on the inflight envelope donation which was answered by a man with a thick Indian accent who identified himself as Kumar and the coordinator of the foundation. Kumar had promised to get back to the reporter with the requested information but he never did. The phone number is registered in the name of Rahul Patil, former deputy IT manager at the Dana Group who has returned to Mumbai, India since 2016.
The ICIR reached out to Tony Usidamen who was the head of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility at the Dana Group during the time that the inflight envelope donation was launched in 2009, but he declined to talk about the inflight donation. “I believe a serving official would be in a better position to answer any questions you might have,” Usidamen insisted.
The Dana Group has diversified trading and shipping businesses, as well as interests in pharmaceutical, food and beverage, plastics and auto industries, among others. The conglomerate which is family-owned was founded by its current chairman, Ramesh Hathiramani. He is an Indian, born in West Africa in 1950, according to the Dana Group.
From trading in the 1970s, Ramesh founded a pharmaceutical company which became the springboard for the Dana Group. He has handed the operation of Dana Group to his children: Jacky Hathiramani, group managing director and Gautam Hathiramani, group executive director.
A single mom revealed that she sold her baby girl for N600,000 and used the money to buy a phone, wrapper and slippers in Imo state. She also stated that she planned using the remaining money to start a business.
According to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Imo State Police Command, a 27-year old single mom, Nneka Donatus allegedly sold her day old baby girl and used the money to buy a phone, wrapper and slippers for herself.
The woman, who spoke in her native dialect, said, “I sold my baby girl for N600,000 and used N15,000 from the money to buy a phone, wrapper and slippers and transported myself back home.
I asked Nneoma Onwusereaka and her husband, who had the balance to use it to start a business for me. I have five children already and I am separated from my former husband.”
A civil servant, who was arrested in connection with the crime, said she was rewarded with N10,000 for connecting the buyer with the seller.
Nneka was arrested alongside a level 12 civil servant at the state Ministry of Women Affairs, Ujunwa Udechukwu, 40; and Nneoma Onwusereaka, 37; who allegedly conspired with the single mother to sell the baby to a couple.
The mother of the woman who sold her baby is said to have reported the case to SARS operatives after the lady; her daughter came home without the newborn baby.
Nigerian Afro Hip hop star, Olamide Adedeji (Olamide) has released a new single ‘Oil and Gas’ from the anticipated album, `Oil & Gas’
The 30-year-old Bariga-born rapper took to his Instagram handle @baddoneh to announce the release of the song.
“ #Oilandgas.’’ He added a sign of fuel pump facility at an oil station.
This new song is catchy because it contains the trending slang “Enu gbe” (mouth dry).
In the song, the YBNL boss in Yoruba dialect calls on the major Oil and Gas dealers, Philanthropies and Godfathers in the country to spend money where it is due.
The song was produced by Pheelz.
The release of Oil & Gas came barely three weeks after he released the song `Spirit’.
While his fans await the official release of the album `Oil & Gas’, they could enjoy the released singles from the album.
Olamide’s albums include Rapsodi (2011), Yahoo Boy No Laptop (YBNL-2012), Baddest Guy Ever Liveth (2013) and Street OT (2014).
Others are 2 Kings, Eyan Mayweather (2015), The Glory (2016), Lagos Nawa (2017), and Madia Family (2018).
He has collaborated with talented artist like Phyno, Lil Kesh, D’banj, Davido, Wale, Reminisce and many more.
Oil and Gas would make it the 10th studio album of the multi award winning singer, song writer and label boss.