November 28, 2008

Killer baby mixture: NAFDAC seals chemical company, insists two died in UCH

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has sealed a chemical company, Tranxell Limited, Ilasamaja, Lagos, over the alleged contaminated baby teething mixture, My Pikin.

Investigations by our correspondent on Thursday showed that the action followed an alleged claim by the producer of the teething mixture, Barewa Pharmaceuticals Limited, that its chemicals were supplied by Tranxell.

The closure of the company came as NAFDAC insisted that two children died at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, after allegedly taking the mixture.

It was gathered that three officials of Tranxell were arrested and taken to the NAFDAC office at Oshodi, Lagos. They were later transferred to the Ikoyi office of the agency for interrogation.

An official of the agency, who pleaded anonymity said, “We have not said that they were guilty. We just want them to answer some questions on the supply of chemicals to Barewa Pharmaceutical Company.”

NAFDAC also took on the UCH on Thursday, saying its insistence that no child died in the hospital after taking the drug was misleading and false.

The agency made available to THE PUNCH the report of the investigation of the children‘s death at the hospital. The report was signed by the Head of South-West Zone, NAFDAC, Mrs. O.A.Osibanjo.

In the report, NAFDAC said that it received a telephone call on November 24 on the death of children at UCH.

“The zonal head (South-West) was directed to immediately investigate a report of deaths of some children at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, after being administered with My Pikin Syrup,” it said.

The agency stated that its officials, including the zonal head, a pharmacist, S.O.Adeyemi and Miss B.O.Fareo visited UCH on November 24.

It claimed that its official discussed with the UCH‘s Chief Medical Director, Prof. A.O.Ilesanmi; the Head of Pharmacy Department, Mrs. M.Oderinde; an assistant pharmacist, M.I.Irabor; an officer of the manufacturing unit, one Isola; a member of Pharmacovigilance Committee, Prince Osiyemi; an official of the Main Pharmacy Store, Mrs. Nwanko; a consultant paediatrician, Dr. A.O.Asinobi and Dr. Ademola of the Pediatric Department.

According to the agency, initially, the hospital management claimed ignorance of any report from the Pediatric Department.

”However, while the team was still discussing with the chief pharmacists, two doctors interrupted to make an official report on the death of some children referred to UCH,” it said.

NAFDAC stated that the doctors said that in the last two weeks, seven pediatric patients within the ages of one and three years old were referred to UCH from LUTH and two other hospitals in Lagos.

It added, “Seven toddlers had renal failure linked to administration of My Pikin teething mixture. Two of the seven toddlers died while on admission in UCH, Ibadan. The remaining four were taken back to Lagos by their parents against medical advice. One of the four toddlers died on the way back to Lagos.”

The agency claimed that the UCH doctors told its team that the seventh toddler was brought dead from Lagos on November 23.

“Samples of the drug products were not available in UCH hence no details description of the drug could be given,” it said.

NAFDAC said that its team recommended that further investigations should be carried out in Lagos since the patients were referred to UCH from there.

The Public Relations Officer of the UCH, Mr. Kunle Atinwore, had in an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday said, “I wonder why the agency‘s Director-General (Prof. Dora Akunyili) was insisting that two children died in the UCH after being administered with teething mixture.”

Akunyili had at a news conference in Lagos on Tuesday said that 25 children died after consuming the drug. But on Thursday she said in a statement that three more children had died at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, thus bringing the toll to 28 nationwide.

However, the figure differs from the 29 which the Lagos State Government said on Wednesday died in the state alone.

Akunyili, who also confirmed the closure of the chemical company on Thursday , explained that the contamination of the teething mixture was caused by addition of a chemical diethylene glycol, which is harmful to the kidney.

Diethylene glycol is a chemical used for freezing. It is very harmful to kidneys. According to the NAFDAC D-G, propylene glycol is used by pharmaceutical companies in the manufacturing of syrups.

Meanwhile, the Action Congress has called for an immediate probe into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the children.

It said in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that the conflicting claims by NAFDAC, teaching hospitals and the manufacturer of the drug made its call imperative.

Hulk Can't Be Restrained, Ex Still Trying to Milk Him

Hulk Hogan's estranged wife thinks he isn't giving her enough, while her new beau thinks the wrestling star is dishing out way too much.

Less than a week after Linda Hogan's boyfriend's request for a restraining order against Hogan was denied, the former Hogan Knows Best matriarch publicly stated that she thinks the $40,000-per-month in support she's receiving is a "drop in the bucket" compared to what her hulking hubby earned over the course of their marriage.

And she's heading to court to ask for an additional $400,000, according to documents filed Nov. 21.

"It is all relative. That is what people don't understand. You can't compare what Linda gets to your own income of 50K a year, you have to compare it to Hulk's one time income of 12 to 16 million a year and the lifestyle that comes with it. That puts it into perspective," Linda's publicist, Gary Smith, said in a statement Tuesday.

Well, in that case...

November 25, 2008

Assault: Uzoma fails to appear before naval panel - Says she’s being frustrated

The lady recently assaulted by naval ratings attached to Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade, Miss Uzoma Okere, has accused the board of enquiry set up by the authorities of the Nigerian Navy to investigate the alleged assault of frustrating her efforts to testify before the panel.She made the allegation following the claim by a source, who is a member of the four-man board, that Uzoma had shunned all entreaties to appear before the panel to state her side of the November 3 incident in Lagos.

The source had told our correspondent on Monday that efforts made by the board headed by the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sylvester Umosen, to convince the lady to appear before the panel had proved abortive.

But Uzoma, in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Monday, said it was not true that she declined to appear before the board.

Uzoma said she made desperate attempts to appear before the panel on three occasions, adding that her efforts were frustrated by the panel.

According to her, she was on her way to a venue in Victoria Island on the first appointed date before she was called that the venue had been shifted to another location in Apapa, adding that it was difficult for her to face Apapa on that day.

Uzoma explained further that she was indisposed on the next appointed date, adding that the board failed to turn up at the chamber of her lawyer in Onikan, Lagos, as agreed upon last Friday.

She said, ”It is not correct that I refused to appear before the panel. I was on my way to Victoria Island on the first date the panel asked me to come before they called again that they had moved to Apapa and I could not find my way to Apapa again that day. I was ill on the second appointment. But they later called me to pick a venue convenient for me.

”I picked my lawyer‘s chamber in Onikan and we agreed to meet there on Friday. (November 21) But they (naval board) did not come. All of us, including my lawyer, waited till evening before we dispersed. So it cannot be true that I did not want to appear before the panel.”

The panel was set up by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Isiah Ibrahim, on the order of the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, to probe the incident and ascertain the culpability of the naval personnel.

The board of enquiry began sitting in Lagos on Monday, November 17.

Camara seals victory for Latics

Henri Camara finally gave the JJB Stadium reason to cheer as his first Premier League goal in almost two years catapulted Wigan out of the relegation zone and condemned in-form Everton to a 1-0 defeat.The Senegal international striker replaced the ineffectual Olivier Kapo at half-time and needed just six minutes to rifle home a clinical low shot after a delightful piece of skill from Antonio Valencia.

It proved enough to give Steve Bruce's men only their second home league win of the season and their first since beating Manchester City 2-1 almost two months ago.

Moreover, it was the perfect fillip for Bruce after recent results raised fears of his side being dragged into a relegation dogfight.

The Latics are not out of trouble yet but this thoroughly deserved victory, in which midfielder Lee Cattermole was outstanding, was heartening for Bruce and no-one was happier than goal-hero Camara at the final whistle.

The nomadic forward, 31, spent last season on loan at West Ham but failed to score a single goal in a nightmare campaign.

Camara returned to the JJB Stadium in the summer and, having scored three times in the Carling Cup earlier this season, he finally found the net in the top flight for the first time since scoring against Middlesbrough for Wigan in December 2006.

Everton had made the short trip to Wigan unbeaten in five games but, after a bright start, they faded badly - and the defeat means none of the league's top 10 were able to produce a win over this latest round of fixtures.

Yet during the early exchanges, David Moyes' men looked full of confidence and Yakubu and Louis Saha again dovetailed to good effect.

Indeed the Toffees - backed by a huge travelling army of supporters - looked like they were the team playing at home in the opening quarter.

Tim Cahill spurned an opportunity in the fifth minute when he headed Mikel Arteta's corner wastefully over the crossbar from eight yards out.

Yakubu then showed some delightful footwork and a neat turn of pace to engineer the space to drive a low shot into the heart of the Wigan defence, but Paul Scharner was alert to the danger and cleared for a corner.

In the 14th minute, Everton crafted possibly the best move of the first half when the lively Yakubu broke clear down the left flank and delivered an inch-perfect cross into Saha's feet.

The France striker strode forward and rifled a low, first-time shot goalwards from around 16 yards - but his effort drew a fine one-handed save from Chris Kirkland.

In the 34th minute Emile Heskey used his aerial strength to flick a high ball into Valencia's path on the right side of Everton's six-yard box.

The Ecuadorian clipped a teasing cross across the face of goal and Wilson Palacios stopped to head goalwards but contrived only to send the ball over the bar from little more than four yards out.

Wigan went close twice within the space of a minute on the stroke of half-time whistle when Howard palmed away Cattermole's curling shot from 14 yards, then produced an even better save to repel Scharner's close-range header.

Bruce's decision to replace the ineffectual Kapo with Camara proved inspired.

The Senegal forward was clearly up for it and was the quickest to react when Valencia's individual skill handed him a goal on a plate six minutes after the restart.

Valencia showed a neat touch to control a long punt upfield on the right-hand side of Everton's 18-yard box.

He then drove at Joleon Lescott, slipping the ball between the England defender's legs with a cheeky nutmeg before spotting Camara lurking at the far post.

Valencia slid a vicious low cross across the face of goal and there was Camara to rifle the ball home in predatory fashion.

Bruce celebrated with a punch of the air pitchside and Camara blew kisses to the jubilant Latics supporters.

Wigan could have made the game safe in the 71st minute when Valencia broke clear and hit a powerful shot from 14 yards which Howard could only parry.

Three minutes later, Cahill attempted to tuck away a loose ball from 14 yards but Scharner blocked his effort.

Cahill had a golden chance to earn a point in injury-time - but he shot over the bar and victory was Wigan's.


There were tears, heartbreak and an out pouring of love, as this week’s contestant left the MTN Project Fame West Africa Academy, and this was just from the faculty and judges. The fans, friends, and viewers had all of that and more as the Academy lost the two students with the lowest audience votes on the night. Composition eviction was all that was on the books as the 7 final students of MTN Project Fame West Africa Academy went on the stage to sing for survival as the show hit the 8th week. The students waxed, molded and some even did remixes as they looked to sell their special compositions to the public, judges and faculty, and special guest judge, OJB Jezerel was not immune to the charms of the students as he complimented them unendingly on their foresight and their extraordinary performances. In the audience were mother’s, brothers, sisters and in Kojo’s case, his pastor Pastor Solomon Oware. The day unfortunately had to come to a close and the tally was drawn to show which 5 students had the highest audience votes and which two will have to go home, the results were as follows:
Nii, Bisola, Annette, Praise and Iyanya.

The 2 with the least audience votes were: Kojo and Onyeamaechi, and the audience felt the impact, as the students cried and hugged in goodbye, we all know that this is the beginning of new and exciting things for them.

Is Prison Break Ending?

Could Fox be shutting the doors on Prison Break—without any plan for future escape?
The Hollywood Reporter says the series might be coming to an end, because word is there might be two more episodes this seaon, which could be an attempt to wrap up storylines and send Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell on their merry way.
So what is the real story? Is Prison Break really on the way out?
We've checked in with the network, the studio and inside sources for exactly where things stand...

AWC: E’Guinea can’t stop Falcons – Okolo

Recuperating Super Falcons star, Vera Okolo, has charged the senior women national team to go out for a win against host Equatorial Guinea on Tuesday (today) in the semifinal of the ongoing Africa Women‘s Championship.

Despite a shaky start to their campaign that resulted in draws against Ghana and Tunisia, the Falcons, five-time winners of the AWC, secured a ticket to the semifinals after beating South Africa 1-0 in their last group game on Saturday.

Okolo said, “We cannot judge the team by its performance in its first two matches. Some people had written them off before they beat South Africa to qualify for the semifinals. I believe the players have learnt their lesson and have found their rhythm after their first win of the tournament.

“As for the Equatorial Guineans, the Falcons need to be serous. We played against them two years ago. Even when we were two goals down, we came back to beat them 4-2, so we know them. They can’t stop the Falcons. They are no threat at all.”

Okolo dismissed the fear that the Falcons would need to contend with the home fans, saying the players were prepared for the challenge.

“Which crowd do they have in Equatorial Guinea? The Falcons have played at the World Cup and Olympics competitions which have the largest crowds. How can they be scared of the fans in Malabo? The whole country can come to the stadium; there is no problem about that. The Falcons will still win,” she stressed.

The match will start at 2pm (Nigerian time).

Equatorial Guinea won its Group A matches to proceed to the last four as the only country with a 100 per cent record.

The Lioness of Cameroun will play Bayana Bayana of South Africa who topped Group B with six points in the other semifinal game at 5pm (Nigerian time).

Don’t judge Amodu by Colombia defeat – Lawal

Amid criticisms of the Super Eagles for the defeat to Colombia in a friendly game in the early hours of Thursday in Cali, versatile former Holland-based midfielder, Garba Lawal, has moved to save coach Shaibu Amodu from further bashing.

Amodu has come under intense criticisms since the poor showing against the Colombians, losing 1-0 in the encounter dominated by the South Americans.

Speaking with our correspondent on the telephone on Monday, Lawal, who was a prominent member of the Atlanta ‘96 Olympic Games gold-winning Under-23 team, insisted that neither Amodu nor the players deserved the criticisms they had been subjected to since the defeat, appealing to Nigerians not to lose faith in the team.

The former senior national team star said, ”The problem with Nigerians is that they want to win every match. In football, this is not possible. There’s no team in the world that has won all its matches.

“The game against Colombia was only a friendly. It has not only afforded the coach an opportunity to assess the young players he featured, but also the old players.

“I did not expect the team to beat Colombia, given the situation Amodu found himself before the encounter.Some of the players he relied on withdrew from the game and you don’t expect him to force them.

“The result will help us plan for the World Cup qualifiers and I think Amodu has learnt one or two things from the defeat to Colombia. It means we have to take every match in the qualifiers seriously.”

Lawal called on the players no longer interested in playing for the national team to quit honourably rather than making excuses to avoid featuring in certain matches.

November 20, 2008

Shehu Musa Dies in London

Secretary to the Government in the Second Republic, Alhaji Shehu Musa, is dead. He was 73 years old.
Musa, who held the chieftaincy title of Makama Nupe, died yesterday in a London hospital.
Details of his death were sketchy last night but a press release by the family said the remains of the former Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC) would arrive Abuja this morning from London.
His remains will be interred on Friday at Bida, Niger State, his hometown, according to Muslim rites.
Musa was born on January 16, 1935.
His last public service appointment was as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Ele-ctoral Commission (INEC) under the late INEC Chairman, Justice Ephraim Akpata.
Musa served as Secretary to the Government under President Shehu Shagari in the Second Republic.
He was a frontline member of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), which held sway at the centre in the Second Republic.
In the aborted Third Republic, Musa pitched his tent with the National Republican Convention (NRC) and even vied for the party’s ticket to contest the presidency which he lost.
Musa was the chairman of the NPC that conducted the 1991 Census under the defunct regime of military President Ibrahim Baban-gida.
He was also chairman of the Red Cross Society of Nigeria.
A distinguished retired public officer, Musa studied at the University College, Ibadan and graduated in 1960 with a B.Sc (London) degree in Mathematics and Physics.
He later proceeded to the University of Minnesota where he obtained a Masters degree in Public Administ-ration in 1962. Upon graduation, he joined the Nigerian Public Service where he rose to the position of a permanent secretary.
Musa was said to be a detribalised Nigerian who believed in the indivisibility of the country.
Responding to a question on the achievements of the country in an interview with a national newspaper on the occasion of Nigeria’s 48th independence last October 1st, he said: “This is a very general question in terms of expectations which differ but there are areas where one can say we should feel fulfilled and there are areas where things have really not been what our expectations are; they are much less.
“When I talk about where we should feel fulfilled, it is in the area of unity of the country. The country with all the hiccups here and there, I think we have done what I call satisfactory achievement. Like I said we have had hiccups here and there, both through very serious civil war but today, we are doing everything possible to remain united.”
Hajia Mamuna Jumai Musa, the eldest child of the deceased, said the former SGF would be buried in Bida, Niger State on Friday, adding that his body would be flown in from London where he was taken when he complained that he was not feeling fine.
“Daddy will be buried in his hometown, Bida on Friday. His body will leave London tomorrow morning (today). We are all moving to Bida for the burial,” she said.

We Won’t Reduce Fuel Prices, Says FG

Hopes that the falling crude oil prices would lead to cheaper petroleum products in Nigeria have been dashed by the Federal Government.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the end of its weekly meeting yesterday foreclosed any pump price reduction.
Minister of State for Energy (Petroleum), Mr Odein Ajumogobia, while briefing State House Correspondents, said the inability of the government to opt for a reduction in the domestic prices of petroleum products is because the sector is not deregulated.
The latest pronouncement of the Federal Government would seem to contradict earlier positions that the periodic hikes in the prices of petroleum products resulted from high price of crude oil in the international market, since Nigeria imports a significant percentage of what it consumes because of the inadequacy of local refining.
But the price of crude oil has fallen from a high of $147 per barrel last July to below $54 a barrel by yesterday.
U.S. crude fell to $53.30 a barrel, its lowest since January 2007, while London's Brent crude (equivalent of Nigeria’s Bonny Light) was off 54 cents at $51.30.
The current petrol pump price of N70 per litre was fixed when crude oil was selling for $80 per barrel June last year.
It had been expected – and government had consistently argued – that lower crude oil prices would lead to lower pump prices.
Ajumogobia said: “We can't enjoy the benefit of deregulation because it's only Automotive Gas Oil - AGO (diesel) that's deregulated. PMS (petrol) and kerosene are still regulated. Now we need to take a holistic view of the sector and see how we can put all petroleum products in one basket, so that as the prices go down in the international market, they'll also go down locally.
“However, the implication of that is that if the international prices of petroleum products go up, we'll also have to pay more locally. We need to look at the situation holistically and find a solution. We can’t eat our cake and have it. We agreed with Labour last year that the pump price would be N70. We don’t have a regulated market for PMS. It is something that we are looking at seriously and we will take a decision about it very soon.”
Last May, Ajumogobia had, while making a case for the removal of subsidy, put the total projected cost of subsidy for 2008 at about N700 billion when crude oil was selling for over $100.
“We are trying to be more systematic and thorough in handling the subsidy issue. We cannot sustain it. We believe that we must go through deregulation of the price. We are engaging the stakeholders work with us. The N700 billion subsidy is over N100 billion above this year’s capital vote,” he had said.
He did not say if the subsidy bill would still be as high with crude oil now selling for a little over $50.
In 2003, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) took the novel step of reducing petrol price by 50 kobo in line with a slight drop in crude oil price in order to demonstrate the “benefits of deregulation”.
Also briefing the press yesterday, Minister of Information and Communications, Chief John Odey, said FEC had approved a draft bill that would guarantee the security of jobs and freedom of people living with HIV/AIDS from discrimination.
The draft bill provides the legal framework for the prohibition of discrimination against affected people.
He said: “Council approved a proposal for the enactment of a bill for an Act to make provision for the prevention of HIV/AIDS based discrimination and to protect the human rights and dignity of people living with and people affected by HIV/AIDS and the related purpose. The Attorney General and Minister of Justice came to Council with a memo, seeking Council's approval for a bill for an Act to make provision for the prevention of HIV-based discrimination and to protect human rights and dignity of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and other related purposes.
“The Act is meant to prevent all forms of HIV-based discrimination in the work places. The Act is fundamental because it would help in the enforcement of fundamental rights of people as well as enhance a more supportive and proactive workforce that does not discriminate against employee for the mere reason that such employee is HIV-positive.”
Towards implementing this, the Council mandated the Minister of Labour to conduct periodic inquiries to ensure compliance and make recommendations when necessary.
He also said to increase generating capacity and sustain the functionality and reliability of existing generating units, the Council approved the award of contract for the supply of combustion inspection materials for Delta IV (4) at Delta electric power Business unit, Ughelli in the sum of N62,042,400 for a period of three months.
FEC also approved the award of contract for the construction of Block/concrete wall fence phase II at the permanent site of the petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Osubi, Okpe LGA of Delta State in the sum of N55,581,499.43 to be completed by the end of December, 2008.

UK announces £148m health programme for Nigeria

The United Kingdom has begun moves to boost healthcare services in Nigeria with a £148m initiative aimed at improving the financing of the sector in the country.

An officer of the UK’s Department for International Development, Chris Hindley, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, said the health care plan was announced by the International Development Minister, Ivan Lewis, on Tuesday.

According to Lewis, the initiative will assist the Federal Government and selected states to build up the health system by identifying where the money should be spent.

He said that the initiative, known as Partnerships for Transforming Health Systems 2, would ensure that government provided health care and services rendered by non-governmental organisations.

The minister said, “The £148m will help ensure Better services across the country – not just in the cities - such as rural clinics to support pregnant mothers and provide immunisations to children.”

He added that it would assist government in planning and management by ‘ensuring it is spent where health needs are greatest.

According to him, it will focus on preventative health support to ensure people are better prepared to fight disease and illness.

“The scheme is expected to boost the use of health facilities by 25 per cent, reaching 30m people living across six states,” he said.

Under the scheme, Lewis added, £21m worth of drugs and equipment would be provided for 1,500 clinics and hospitals with a focus on maternal and child health.

He said, “With the programme’s money in partnership with other initiatives, the number of births where skilled birth attendants are present will rise from just a third to over a half, while full immunisation rates will rise from 18 to 60 per cent, to slash infant mortality.”

Men's fashion mistakes to avoid

WE all make fashion errors now and again, but some fashion mistakes made by men are just unforgivable. Outlined here are some fashion mistakes to avoid at all costs:

* wearing socks with sandals - Who decided this was okay in the first place? It is understandable that when it is chilly outside we all dream of the warmth of the hot sun, but wearing socks with sandals doesn't make the seasons change any faster;

* spotting novelty ties, shirts, boxer shorts, etc.- There is nothing lasting about novelty clothing nor does it project a stylish, put together image. Leave the smiley faces, hearts, reindeer, shamrocks, animal and various other prints on the racks of the store where you found them;

* blaring designer labels - Who says it is chic to be a loud walking advertisement for designers. It's not a sophisticated look. Just because you are wearing a designer's name on your chest, sleeve, or wherever, doesn't make you stylish. Keep it understated and simple;

* parading in chunky shoes - These were okay back in the 90s, but the big chunky shoes, especially those with square toes, should be retired at this point. Choose something classic that stands the test of time;

* shiny or glittery shirts and suits - If you are looking for something to go out nightclubbing in, think of much better choices than those that are glittery, shiny and ultimately tacky. If you are at a loss, try a form fitting black T-shirt or black dress shirt, which can be worn with jeans or trousers and dress shoes or casual shoes.

* clothes that are too loose fitting - In a word, sloppy. Unless you are a hip-hop artist, it's not the right look. Choose clothes that fit your body. This might take some experimentation by mixing and matching certain cuts and styles until you find the right fit for your body that is flattering;

* unflattering colours - The colours you wear should compliment your natural features such as your eye colour, skin tone and body shape. Keep this in mind when putting your look together. French blue is always a good choice. French blue, which is a rich medium blue, is a flattering colour for most skin tones. It makes a great dress shirt, which is mainly where you will find this sumptuous hue;

* stay away from bright, solid-coloured socks - Colourful socks are okay if they have a design like stripes or argyle. But bright, solid-coloured socks are simply not a good idea;

* donning loud patterns - They are distracting and ultimately not a good thing. If it was ever in, it was the 80s, but we've thankfully moved on;

* ties are great way to express yourself - but keeping it tasteful is your best bet. You can't go wrong with diagonal stripes, modern polka-dots, plaids and subtle patterns. Just make sure your tie compliments your shirt, suit, sweater or whatever you will be wearing it with. Novelty ties are best avoided since the novelty is short lived;

* always match your belt with your shoes - This is a good rule to follow and it keeps things simple. It's best to stay with traditional colours such as black, dark brown or a rich tan. Other colours will be difficult to match, and generally speaking, should be avoided.

* Culled from the Internet.

Nigerians in U.S. divided over 'missing' satellite

SHOULD the Federal Government seek the assistance of the United States (U.S.) space agency to help resolve the Nigerian Communications Satellite's (NigComSat-1) disappearance in orbit? Nigerians in the U.S. are offering divergent opinions.

While some of them are offering the Federal Government assistance regarding the satellite, which is facing an almost certain disappearance in space, others are urging caution since Nigeria had chosen to go with China and not the U.S. to launch it.

In fact, some U.S.-based Nigerians who are also American citizens have already contacted the Federal Government offering to get help through the U.S. National Space and Aeronautics Agency (NASA), according to Dr. Baba Adam, a top university administrator.

Adam, who spoke on behalf of some Nigerians who have access to NASA, said its competence in such matters is well known. He believed that the U.S. agency's intervention "may resolve the issue of losing N40 billion and also address the usage disruptions caused by the satellite's failure."

Adam, who confirmed that an initial contact has been made with top Federal Government officials, said even it was Nigeria that is being ridiculed. "This may be a technical or design flaw from the Chinese," who designed and installed the satellite.

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, Mr. Ahmed Rufai, had confirmed to The Guardian that the chances of recovering the satellite were very slim. He said although the project contractors, China Great Wall Industry Corporation, were yet to make any categorical statement on the possibility of recovery, yet he affirmed that "from our observatory here in Abuja, the chances are slim."

The Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat) may have, therefore, foreclosed the recovery of the parked NigComSat-1 powered down eight days ago as a result of a solar panel power shut-out.

But Adam insisted that NASA could help identify the problem, while also calling on the National Assembly to investigate the matter thoroughly in order to "avoid future embarrassments."

Stressing the urgency of the situation, Adam noted that "everyday the un-powered satellite loses altitude/orbit - as it happens right now - it will become harder to fix this problem - so sooner this issue is addressed the better."

Besides, Adam said the planned launch of the second satellite should put on hold until the issue of the current satellite is resolved."

He added that with "the exception of NASA - I am not sure who has the capabilities of quickly assisting Nigeria on this issue. May be a new battery pack or Solar Arrays may be installed on the Nigerian satellite - just like the upgrade to the U.S. Hubble Space telescope, International Space Station and other space-crafts and satellites serviced in orbit," all of which were handled by NASA!

On the other hand, there is also the concern among Nigerians in the U.S. that the NigComSat-1 crisis may have international political dimensions bothering on the possibility of a sabotage.

For instance, a Nigerian expert, who did not want to be named, said: "When China builds and launches a communications satellite for Nigeria and other African countries, it means rival powers are shut out from possible intelligence benefits of monopolistic access to communications (SIGINT) in the affected countries.

"It is not far-fetched, therefore, to envisage sabotage, followed by negative publicity and a reflexive review of the whole Sino-Nigerian or Sino-African relationship - resulting in an invitation for those same rival powers to get in on the show 'to help' and thus get access to previously unavailable secret data about Nigeria's space programme that until now was monopolised by the Chinese."

The Guardian yesterday learnt that preparatory to the eventual shut-down of the satellite, the power supply to the system had dropped from 42 amps to 33 and hit 18 amps by Monday night, a situation which may have created bigger problems for NigComSat and its owners, the Federal Government, if it was not powered down.

It was also gathered that the Chinese contractor was yet to properly handover the management of the satellite to NigComSat, and that this is due on May 13, next year. The Chinese had entered into an agreement for 15 years technical back-up, which began on May 14, last year when the satellite was launched.

Sources said that if the system was not powered down, the insurers would have denied any culpability for what could have amounted to negligence on the side of Nigeria and the managers of the system.

NigComSat-1 thus joins 18 other satellites that disappeared and parked in orbit since January this year.

In fact, it is the 18th. Its safe mode power failure occurred the same day, November 10, that Orbcomm satellite had its problems announced to the global community.

Meanwhile, Rufai yesterday said that satellite was insured for 120 million Euros (about N20.4 billion) by the Chinese company.

Rufai, who disclosed this at a meeting the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, however, allayed fears that a lot would be lost, saying that it could still be rectified. He urged the committee to appeal to the Federal Government to still negotiate with the Chinese government and manufacturer of the facility for an alternative satellite.

Rufai also urged the committee to prevail on the government to approve the utilisation of $500 million (about N57.5 billion) China EXIM Bank concessionary loan for NigComSat-2 and 3 advance series for expansion.

He said the award of contracts for manufacturing and launch of the NigComSat-1 followed due process and was given to this Chinese while the supervision was given to Telesat, Canada."

He further said: "The short-term strategy involves minimising the company's exposure to contractual liabilities to its customers whilst provisioning for the many projects undertaken by the company, including the community TeleCentres, NITEL revitalisation plan, etc.

The short-term strategy includes the bulk purchase of bandwidth under a back-up services agreement with a foreign operator with a satellite with footprints and powerful eire as NigComSat-1.

"This will not only provide the necessary succour to the company's numerous customers but also go a long way towards restoring confidence in the company's goodwill."

Rufai, who maintained that the unfortunate situation was not the first incidence, explained that a private satellite operator recorded six failures on six satellites on the same day while the industry recorded a total of over 18 losses last year.

Rufai, who expressed regrets over the incident said: "The batteries are only supposed to discharge during eclipse and recharge when in non-eclipse situation while the solar array serves as the source of power to the satellite.

"This anomaly was noticed by NIGCOMSAT LTD engineers on night duty and reported to the satellite manufacturer.

"The satellite was consequently de-orbited to avoid total loss of power and control of the satellite which could result in damages to other satellites in the orbit or even aircraft in flight." guardian online

Budget '09 still hangs, Senate to screen 13 ministers

PRESIDENT Umaru Yar'Adua will not present the 2009 budget to the National Assembly today as earlier scheduled. The earliest the budget may be presented to the National Assembly is next week.

But the President yesterday submitted names of 13 ministerial nominees to the Senate for screening and confirmation.

The shift in the date of presentation of the budget was at the instance of the leadership of the National Assembly. It cited the need for more consultations between the Executive and the Legislative arms of government on details of the budget proposals.

A source said that there was a need for the harmonisation of areas of disagreement between both arms of government in order to ensure an easier passage of the Appropriation Bill when it comes to the national legislature.

The Presidency had earlier moved today's Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting to 2.00 p.m. in order to present the budget proposals to the National Assembly. With the change, the Council resumes today's sitting at its usual time of 10.00 a.m.

A source said: "It is not that the budget is not ready. Everything about the budget is ready for presentation. But the National Assembly is not ready. And we have to wait until they are ready to receive the President. We expect a new date to come from the leadership of the National Assembly."

Special Adviser to the President, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, had last Sunday told journalists that the President would present the budget estimates this week. He, however, stated that the actual date for its presentation would be decided by the National Assembly leadership.

Quoting Section 147(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, Yar'Adua in a letter read by Senate President David Mark named as his nominees Prof. Dora Akunyili from Anambra State; Senator Ibrahim Kazaure, Jigawa; Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, Kaduna; Dr. Ibrahim. Y. Lame, Bauchi; Dr. Shettima Mustapha, Borno; and Dr. Sam Egwu, Ebonyi.

Others are Mr. Nuhu Somo Way, Kaduna; Mr. Ibrahim Isa Bio, Kwara, Mr. Sani Mohammed Ndanusa, Niger; Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, Ogun; Senator Bello Jibril Gada, Sokoto; Alhaji Jibril Maigari, Yobe and Alhaji Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, Zamfara.

Yar'Adua wrote: "It is my hope that this exercise will receive the usual kind expeditious consideration of the distinguished members of the Senate of the Federal Republic."

The President also told the lawmakers in another letter that he would be in the National Assembly to present the 2009 Appropriation Bill.

He wrote: "I crave the indulgence of the National Assembly to grant me the slot of 12:00 noon, Wednesday, November 19, 2008, to formally address the joint session of the National Assembly on Budget 2009.

"While I thank the distinguished members of the Senate of the Federal Republic for the constancy of your co-operation and understanding, please accept, distinguished Senate President, the assurance of my highest consideration.

The ministerial nominees and their profiles are:

Prof. Dora Nkem Akunyili: Current Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration (NAFDAC). Born on July 14, 1954, she holds a 1985 Ph.D. from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she was Senior Lecturer before her appointment to NAFDAC. Prof. Akunyili is a Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of London, Fellow of the West African Post-Graduate College of Pharmacists, holds a Certificate on Senior Management Skills from Royal Institute of Public Administration, London, and is currently Chairman, West African Drug Regulatory Agencies Network and Vice Chairman, International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force. A member of numerous international professional organisations, she has received over 540 awards and recognitions, including from Transparency International, Time Magazine New York, International Chamber of Commerce, the International Pharmaceutical Federation, and holds National Honour of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, OFR. She became a professor in 2000.

Dr. Rilwanu Lukman: Currently Honorary Adviser on Petroleum to the President, Dr. Lukman was born on August 26, 1938. Trained at the Royal School of Mines, University of London, he has also attended the Institute of Prospecting and Mineral Deposits, University of Mining and Mineral Exploration, Austria, and McGill University, Canada. He was OPEC President for eight consecutive times, and later served as Secretary-General of the Organisation for two terms. His international awards and recognitions include honorary degrees from Italy, USA, Knight of the British Empire, Officer of the Legion d'Honneur, France, Order of Liberator, First Class, Venezuela, as well as doctorate degrees from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Maiduguri and University of Benin. He also holds the national honour, CFR.

Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin: Currently Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, he was born on February 6, 1949, and attended University of Ibadan, University of Birmingham, Cornell University Medical School, New York and Harvard Centre for Population Studies. A member of the Royal College of Physicians, Fellow of the Post-graduate Medical College of Pathology, Fellow of the West African Post-graduate Medical College and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, Prof. Osotimehin is also member of numerous other professional bodies. He has been a consultant to the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, UNFPA and has published over 60 papers.

Dr. Sam Ominyi Egwu, former Governor of Ebonyi State, was born on June 20, 1954. He holds a doctorate degree in agronomy from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology and was Commissioner for Education in Ebonyi State. He was also Head of Department of Crop Science, ESUT; Chairman, University Staff School Management Board, among many other positions. He has published over 10 papers and has 30 awards and 21 traditional titles.

Alhaji Ibrahim Isa Bio: Currently, the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly. Bio was born on April 24, 1957 and holds a Pharmacy degree from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and an MBA from Ogun State University. He was a member of the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003. A two-term member of the State House of Assembly, Bio was the state Commissioner for Health between 1990 and 1992. He is a member and Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) as well as Commonwealth Parliamentary Association of Nigeria (CPA).

Dr. Shettima Mustapha, former Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, was born on November 26, 1939, and holds a 1979 doctorate in plant breeding/agronomy from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. A Fellow of the Genetic Society of Nigeria and member of the American Society of Agronomy as well as the Agricultural Society of Nigeria, Dr. Mustapha has many publications and has the national honours of CON and OFR. He has been a consultant to the FAO, IFAD and UNDP. A consummate politician, Dr. Mustapha has participated in the formation of several political parties, including NPP/GNPP, PSP/SDP, APA, UNCP and the PDP. He was the pioneer National Treasurer of the PDP, a position he held between 1998 and 2001.

Dr. Ibrahim Yakubu Lame, B.Sc Political Science, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and Ph.D. higher education administration, Ohio University, Athens, USA, was born on February 10, 1953. An educationist of outstanding quality, he had been the Assistant Registrar of Bauchi College of Arts and Science, Bauchi State, in 1978 and rose to become the college's principal in 1984. He was Commissioner for Education between 1985 and 1987. Dr. Lame was elected senator in 1992. He was the PDP pioneer deputy national secretary in 1998, a position he held until he was appointed Senior Special Assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo in August 1999.

Alhaji Ikra Aliyu Bilbis was born on February 13, 1957 and holds an advanced diploma in Public Administration. He was member, House of Representatives (1992-93). He was for a brief period, January 10 - May 29, 2007, Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urban Development, 2007. Shortly before then, he had been the National Chairman of the Accord Party of Nigeria (May-November, 2006). Bilbis was also a two-term Chairman, Tsafe Local Government Council, Zamfara State (1997-2001 and has been a member of the Board of Trustees of ALGON since 2001.

Alhaji Sani Mohammed Ndanusa was born on May 5, 1957 and holds a master's of science degree in waste and waste water engineering from Louhborough University of Technology, UK. Ndanusa has extensive civil service experience that spans over two decades. He served as General Manager, Niger State Water Board between 1999 and 2001 from where he became a permanent secretary in charge of the board. He is presently the state Commissioner for Transportation and Infrastructural Development.

Nuhu Somo Wya was born on July 15, 1952, holds a master's degree in architecture from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. He worked briefly with the Kaduna Polytechnic from 1978 to 1981 before going into private practice. Currently the chairman/chief executive officer of Cibi Nigeria Limited, a Kaduna-based indigenous granite quarrying and processing company, Wya is a member of many business organisations including the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and NACCIMA.

Senator Ibrahim Musa Kazaure was born on November 12, 1954 and holds a national diploma in building and civil engineering. He was Commissioner for Health in Kano State in 1983. He was elected senator in 1992 and served as the Majority Whip. He was Chairman, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (2000-2004) and thereafter served as Ambassador of Nigeria to Saudi Arabia with concurrent accreditation to Oman, Yemen and Qatar from 2003 to 2007. Within that period, he was also Nigeria's Permanent Representative to OIC Mission in Jeddah Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Alhaji Jibril Maigari: Born in 1958 he holds a higher national diploma in public administration and has held senior positions in the State Ministry of Agriculture.

Senator Bello Jibril Gada: Born in 1954, Gada attended Bayero University, Kano and Ahmadu Belo University Zaria. He was in the Senate between 1999 and 2003 on the platform of All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) representing Sokoto East Senatorial District. guardian online

Victim of naval ratings’ assault back in hospital

Miss Uzoma Okere, the lady assaulted by six naval ratings recently in Lagos, is back in hospital over complaints of lumbar pains.

Her father, Col. Emeka Okere (rtd) told our correspondent on Wednesday that Uzoma had complained of spinal problem even though she was still receiving treatment for the injuries she suffered from the beating by the naval ratings.

Okere said Uzoma had the problems some time last year, but was treated by Dr. Felix Ogedengbe of the National Hospital, Abuja.

He said, “When she had the problem, she was treated by Ogedengbe early this year, but she seems to have relapsed into the problem after the beating.”

Okere added that Uzoma would begin treatment at the National Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Ogedengbe.

He said the intervention of the Lagos State Governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola, had given him some relief, but the new development was raising some concerns for his family.

Okere had earlier petitioned the Senate committees on Navy and defence for action to be taken against those involved in the maltreatment of her daughter.

While awaiting the action of the Senate committees, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello brought a motion before the Senate, complaining about her assault and that of Uzoma.

The military authorities have instituted a probe into the action of the naval ratings to redeem the image of the Nigerian Navy.

Meanwhile, the Oodua People‘s Congress has promised to render assistance Uzoma.

The Founder of the group, Dr. Fredrick Fasheun, said this at a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday.

Fasheun said the group‘s intervention in the case became imperative because of its belief that “injury to one is injury to all.”

He described as disgraceful to the military for their personnel to assault defenceless civilians, moreso a harmless lady.

Fasehun noted that the assault came at a time of worldwide condemnation of America troops’ excesses against prisoners of war and some civilians in Iraq and the Guatemala Bay.

He urged all Nigerians to support Okere by storming the court during hearings to show solidarity for the victim.

He said, “It will be very much in order to use these offensive naval ratings as scapegoats to curtail this unending harassment that uniformed men unleash against civilians. It is a shame that the military would defend this perfidy.”

November 17, 2008

Controversy trails Daniel, Iyabo-Obasanjo face-off

The Oyo State Governor, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, on Sunday described the clash between the Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, in Ogbomoso on Saturday as most unfortunate.

Daniel and the daughter of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo were among hundreds of dignitaries who graced the wedding of the daughter of Alao-Akala, Olamide; and her husband, Mr. Olayode Alabi.

The incident drew the attention of guests at the First Baptist Church, Okelerin, Ogbomoso, venue of the wedding. This forced Alao-Akala to demand that the programme be rounded off on time to avoid a major clash.

Alao-Akala, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Public Communication, Mr. Dotun Oyelade, told our correspondent on the phone on Sunday afternoon that the governor viewed the incident as very embarrassing.

He insisted that the duo carried over the disagreement between them to his party and that the incident should have been avoided in the church.

He said, “The governor will not make further comments on the issue. I can assure you that the incident was an importation of a local politics that would not distract the governor from the sublime and profound joy of the occasion.”

However, a clearer picture of what actually happened during the church service between Daniel and Obasanjo-Bello emerged on Sunday when our correspondent learnt that the clash did not take place on the dancing floor.

Contrary to media reports, it was learnt that Obasanjo-Bello, who sat directly behind Daniel, was checked by a security aide of the governor that her movements was disturbing his boss.

Rather than taking the coreection in good faith, Obasanjo-Bello, allegedly hit the security man on the chest, a situation that drew the attention of everybody in the church.

Efforts by our correspondent to get a detailed account from the church authorities failed on Sunday. But a guest who sat close to the scene explained on a condition of anonymity, that the security man went to Obasanjo Bello when he discovered that his boss was feeling uncomfortable with the Senator’s head-gear and her body movements.

Meanwhile, the Senate has said it cannot do anything about the alleged physical assault on an aide of Daniel until it hears from Obasanjo-Bello.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Information and Media, Senator Ayogu Eze said this in a telephone interview with our Correspondent, on Sunday.

Panel to probe Rear Admiral, six naval ratings begins sitting today

The board of enquiry set up by the Naval Headquarters to investigate the assault on a lady, Miss Uzoma Okere, by some naval ratings will begin sitting in Lagos today.

Investigation revealed that the four-man board headed by the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Lagos, Rear Admiral Sylvester Umosen, has only a week to complete its assignment.

A top naval source, who made this known to one of our correspondents on Sunday, said the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Isaiah Ibrahim, inaugurated the committee in Abuja on Friday.

Uzoma, daughter of the Sergeant-At-Arms of the National Assembly, Col. Emmanuel Okere (rtd.), was assaulted and stripped in public by six naval ratings attached to the Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Logistic Command, Oghara, Delta State, Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade, in Lagos on November 3.

Arogundade was subsequently summoned to the Defence Headquarters in Abuja last week over the incident which had been widely condemned within and outside the country.

Our source told one of our correspondents in Warri that the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Paul Dike, had on Saturday directed the panel to move to Lagos in order to facilitate its access to principal witnesses required for the thorough execution of its assignment.

He said that the panel was given seven terms of reference, which included ascertaining the culpability of Arogundade and his subordinates in the assault on the 27-year-old lady.

It was learnt on Sunday that Uzoma and other victims of the November 3 incident had also been invited to appear before the Umosen-led panel.

Our source said, “The board of enquiry set up the naval authorities to probe the incident of November 3 in Lagos in which a lady claimed that she was assaulted by the naval ratings attached to our FOC (Arogundade) will commence public sitting in Lagos on Monday, November 17.

“It is a four-man panel with the FOC in charge of the Western Naval Command, Lagos, Rear Admiral Umosen, as chairman.

“In view of the latest development, our FOC (Arogundade) and the six ratings attached to him are now in Lagos in readiness for the panel’s inaugural sitting tomorrow (today).

“The lady who claimed that she was assaulted by the naval men and eyewitnesses are expected to also appear before the panel apparently to provide useful information on the incident.”

When contacted on the telephone, Umosen confirmed that the panel would sit in Lagos from today.

He said, “I can confirm to you that I am the chairman of the board of enquiry on the incident (assault on Uzoma) and we are starting our assignment in Lagos tomorrow (today).

“But I am not prepared to speak further on the matter for now. You may wish to call back next week when we must have concluded our job for further clarification on the issue.”

Meanwhile, the Action Congress has warned that it will not allow the assault on Uzoma to be swept under the carpet.

It said in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that efforts must be made to stop such attacks by military personnel on civilians.

The party also expressed the hope that the investigation into the attack on Uzoma would lead to the prosecution of all those found culpable, irrespective of their ranks.

It added that the “brutal and barbaric attack” on the lady had highlighted a problem that was not limited to the Navy, the Army or the Air Force, but the Police.

The statement reads in part, ”Everyday across Nigeria, the police engage in senseless attacks and extra-judicial killings of the same citizens they are paid to protect, using the guns purchased for them through taxpayers‘ funds.

“The unfortunate case of Ms. Okere should be an opportunity to take a holistic look at these attacks and bring an end to them.‘‘

It said bullion vans escorted by the police across the country drive around “so recklessly, harassing, maiming and killing innocent citizens, yet they carry no number plates by which they could be identified.”

The AC said, ”This is illegal and we hereby call on the Inspector-General of Police to order the arrest of bullion van drivers whose vehicles do not have number plates.

“This is a serious issue, as offending bullion vans can never be traced under the present, inexplicable system whereby the menacing vans cruise around without number plates.”

Apart from the problem of bullion vans, the party said the police, especially in Lagos, had recently started targeting upwardly mobile young men and women around Ikoyi, Ikeja, Victoria Island, among others, under the guise of carrying out ‘stop and search.’

It said, “This harassment must stop before it snowballs into another deadly chain of extra-judicial killings. The police can carry out their important responsibility of ensuring the security of lives and property without killing and maiming the same people they are paid to protect.‘‘

The party commended Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State for his pro-active efforts to stem the harassment and attacks on defenseless civilians by banning the use of sirens in the state.

AC also praised Fashola for backing Uzoma.

November 14, 2008

Drogba faces police, FA probes

Didier Drogba is facing police and FA investigations after throwing a coin into the crowd during Chelsea’s Carling Cup fourth round defeat to Burnley.

The Chelsea striker apologised for his actions which followed his 27th-minute goal but could still be in trouble.

In a statement on Chelsea’s website, Drogba said: “I tried to celebrate the goal and I received some things at me.

“The big mistake I did was to throw it back so if someone was hurt I just want to apologise for it.”

There were no reports of any spectators being injured. However, the Metropolitan Police confirmed on Thursday that it is looking into the incident.

A spokesman said, “An inquiry is being conducted by the Football Unit at Fulham police station. No-one has been arrested.”

The incident happened after the Ivory Coast forward put the Blues ahead in his first match since returning from injury.

Drogba, 30, made a single-finger gesture before throwing a coin back into the Burnley section of the crowd.

He said, “This is not something I should show in a football match.

“It was an incident in the heat of the moment and I regret it. It was just a mistake and nothing more.”

A Chelsea spokesman said, “We will deal with this in the usual way. We are aware there is an incident. But we will not discuss it further until we have seen the referee’s report.”

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari said, “I have not spoken with Didier about any problem. The referee gave him a yellow card but I did not see what happened.”

Oshiomhole freezes Edo accounts

Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, on Thursday, froze all the state government’s accounts in banks until further notice.

He directed them to stop honouring cheques issued by the ousted administration headed by Prof. Oserhiemen Osunbor.

The government’s decision, which was contained in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Orientation, Mrs. Betty Igbeyi, urged all the ministries and parastatals to give due attention to the directive.

The governor also relieved all political office holders in the state of their positions.

Barely 24 hours after he was sworn in, Oshiomhole on Thursday, visited President Umaru Yar’Adua at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He explained that he was at the villa to pledge his loyalty to the President despite the fact that was not a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.

He disclosed that even when he had not been declared governor by the courts, and despite their political differences, he had a privileged relationship with the president.

Oshiomole disclosed these to State House correspondents shortly after meeting the president.

According to him, Edo State needs the president’s support or intervention to enable him face squarely, the arduous challenges ahead.

Furthermore, he said that he was overwhelmed with joy that the president was very anxious to see how the Federal Government could contribute in arresting what he described as, “the drift and to restore the glory of Edo State.”

In Benin, a statement signed by the newly appointed Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Pally Iraise, shortly after his inauguration on Thursday, directed the affected people to hand over government property in their possession to the Permanent Secretary, Central Administration, Governor‘s Office, Benin.

The governor said that the choice of Iraise, an accountant and banker, as the SSG, was based on merit, as demonstrated by his contribution to the development of the Owan East Local Government Area, where he was chairman from 2004 to 2007.

Oshiomhole, who spoke at Iraise’s inauguration at the Government House, also urged the 18 local government chairmen in the state not to use public funds to place congratulatory advertisements for him in the media.

He said that such funds should be effectively utilised to bring the desired change and development to the people of the state.

The governor said that the Edo citizens had great expectation that the new administration had the capacity, and was determined to take advantage of the resources of the state to bring new hopes to them

Why Can't James Bond Catch Jason Bourne?

Compared to James Bond, Jason Bourne is a punk.

As a movie franchise, the Ian Fleming-conceived spy has it all over Robert Ludlum's in volume, longevity, international appeal, and sheer number of bedroom scenes.

True, the Matt Damon Bourne films have been almost universally hailed by critics, while the Bond series has been hit and miss.

And, oh, yes, there's one other thing: The last two Bourne movies have made more money, domestically, than any one Bond movie, domestically.


Quantum of Solace, your move.

Opening Friday, Quantum of Solace is the 22nd Bond adventure, and the second to star Daniel Craig.

Already an international blockbuster, the movie has grossed some $160 million in two weeks outside the U.S. And while reviews here have been mixed (unlike the ecstatic reception that met Craig's first Bond), Casino Royale, expectations are for Quantum of Solace to be a U.S. superpower.

With reporting nearly 400 sold-out screenings as of Wednesday, Exhibitor Relations was projecting a franchise-best $55-60 million opening weekend. Lee Tistaert of was more bullish, calling for a $63 million debut.

Which still wouldn't be as big as the biggest Bourne opening.

Inflation is, of course, a factor, if not the overriding explanation. Movie tickets cost considerably more in 2002, when the first Bourne was released, than in prehistoric 1963, when the first Bond was released.

But even in a fairer fight—2007's The Bourne Ultimatum versus 2006's Casino Royale—Bourne still comes out on top: a $227.5 million domestic gross compared to $167.4 million; a $69.3 million opening weekend compared to $40.8 million.

"I think cast is an issue," says filmmaker Richard Schenkman, who founded and formerly ran the James Bond 007 Fan Club. "I think the Bourne movies hit at a very good moment in [Damon's] career."

Beyond that, Schenkman thinks the Bourne trilogy tapped into something often underestimated in box-office discussions: Quality matters.

"The Bourne movies are just so good, everyboy tells everybody you just have to see this thing," Schenkman says.

Quality paid off for Casino Royale, which cashed in its four-star buzz for the franchise's biggest domestic gross, and a nearly $600 million worldwide overal take, a number far bigger than any put up by the Bourne movies.

What was not missed on audiences of Casino Royale, however, was that the grimmer, new-look Bond looked an awful lot like the Jason Bourne. The resemblance was especially striking in action sequences that were revved-up—or too "violent," as Bond alum Roger Moore recently put it.

So, can Bond ever top Bourne if he's trying to be Bourne?

A recent Fandango poll would seem to make the task difficult. Fifty-two percent of respondents said they prefered Damon's Bourne to Craig's Bond, compared to 48 percent who sided with 007. (Fandango and E! Online are both owned by Comcast.)

But to Deborah Lipp, author of The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book, the question is all wrong. The Craig Bond, she says, is what Bond has always been.

"Everything changes the James Bond series. They're very in touch with the moment," Lipp says. "Just the way Live and Let Die was influenced by blaxploitation, just the way Moonraker was influenced by Star Wars. So, sure [Bourne] is an influence."

"But it's not an imitation."

Although presumably Bond wouldn't mind imitating a $69.3 million opening.

Naval ratings go wild again, kill policeman

Two naval ratings have been arrested by the Ogun State Command Police for allegedly killing a policeman and severely wounding another in a scuffle at a hotel in Ota.

The policemen Mr. Oladiran Abanikanda and – Adewale Nureini, were said to have been stabbed on Wednesday night after an argument over a female attendant at the hotel.

Abanikanda reportedly died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital on Thursday morning after a spirited attempt to save his life. Nureini is said to be responding to treatment at the Ota General Hospital.

The Ota incident occurred less than two weeks after six naval ratings attached to the convoy of the Chief of Naval Logistics, Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade beat up and stripped a 27-year-old lady, Miss Uzoma Okere, in Lagos.

Arogundade and the six naval ratings were on Wednesday summoned by the authorities of the Nigerian Navy to the Defence Headquarters over the attack on Uzoma, who is the daughter of the National Assembly Sergeant-at-Arms.

About three years ago, a naval officer, Lt. Felix Odulami, shot dead a commercial motor cycle (Okada) operator in Ikeja, Lagos, for allegedly hitting his Mercedes Benz 190E.

The naval authorities set up a board of inquiry to investigate the killing, but up till now the outcome is yet to be made public.

The Police Area Commander of in Ota, Mr. Adeoye Oyelola, who confirmed the incident on Thursday to our correspondent on the telephone, said the two policemen were first rushed to a private hospital before being transferred to different health institutions.

The area commander, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, alleged that the ratings, after committing the crime, tried to escape.

He said, “A medical doctor alerted me that two of my men had been rushed to his hospital after they were stabbed. So, I had to rush there. I was told that one of the ratings objected when one of the policemen asked a lady attendant to serve him a drink. He (rating) was said to have told the constable, who was not in uniform, not to send the lady on an errand because she was his girlfriend.”

“It was during the argument that followed that one of the naval ratings brought out his knife and stabbed the policeman at the back. In an attempt by another police officer to seize the knife from the rating, his colleague brought out his own knife and stabbed him.”

Oyelola, however, said while one of the ratings was arrested on the spot, the other was caught ”loitering around the police station in an attempt to call for re-inforcement.”

He added that some naval personnel were in the area command on Wednesday night for consultations over the incident.

Oyelola‘s claims, however, differed from the uncoordinated accounts of the two ratings. They had said during a preliminary interrogation that their attempt to report an assault on them by the late Abanikanda and Nureini was frustrated by other policemen.

Our correspondent in Abeokuta learnt that the case had already been reported to the office of the Inspector – General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro.

The ratings are believed to have been detained in separate cells in one of the police stations in the state capital.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Bassey Inyang, also confirmed the incident but said the case was still with the State Criminal Investigation Department.

”I have heard the case but you know it has to be properly investigated. I will not be able to say much on it now, ” Inyang said.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Bar Association on Thursday demanded sanctions against Arogundade and the six ratings that attacked Uzoma.

It also deplored the detention of a magistrate and some lawyers by policemen in a court at Oji-River, Enugu State.

The NBA, in a statement by its National President, Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), called for a stop to what it called “despicable violence against civilians inherent in the culture of our armed forces and the police.”

The statement reads in part, ”We condemn the barbaric act against Uzoma and call on the naval command to immediately sanction the errant ratings and the naval officer under whose watch she was beaten and stripped naked in addition to paying her adequate compensation for the damages, which resulted from their action.

“The senseless and horrible treatment meted out to Okere in Lagos on November 3, 2008 is one case too many. The barbarism witnessed in this case is certainly not an aberrant act.”

On the Oji-River incident, the association said, “We also note and condemn the action of a detachment of the Nigeria Police Force, which detained a senior magistrate for carrying out her judicial function.

“The detention of Senior Magistrate Mrs. Uche Mogboh and lawyers in her court at the behest of an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Ashabua, for making a formal order of discharge and acquittal of an accused person in the course of the performance of her judicial function is condemnable.”

November 13, 2008

Michael Jackson Lets Neverland Fly Away

The fairy tale is really over now.

Michael Jackson has turned the deed to his financially plagued Neverland Ranch over to a company that he has a partial stake in, effectively ending his reign as the King of the House That Pop Built.

Then again, one could wonder what took so long. Jackson hasn't spent any time at the Los Olivos, Calif., estate he bought in 1988 since being acquitted of child-molestation charges in 2005—crimes he was accused of committing on his 2,500-acre property, which in its heyday featured a working petting zoo, amusement park and various other kid-friendly attractions.

According to paperwork filed Monday with the Santa Barbara County Clerk-Recorder's Office, Neverland's new owner is the Sycamore Valley Ranch Co., LLC.

Jackson nearly lost the whole kit and caboodle to foreclosure in May, but an eleventh-hour reprieve from L.A.-based real estate company Colony Capital, which bought a $23.5 million loan that the Thriller artist had been unable to pay back, saved Neverland from the auction block.

Jackson most recently reared his reclusive head to shoot down reports of an original Jackson 5 reunion, saying that he wishes the best for his brothers but has other creative fish to fry.

"My brothers and sisters have my full love and support, and we've certainly shared many great experiences, but at this time I have no plans to record or tour with them," he said through a rep.

"I am now in the studio developing new and exciting projects that I look forward to sharing with my fans in concert soon."

Navy summons Rear Admiral to DHQ over assault on lady

ndications emerged on Wednesday that the naval authorities had summoned Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade to Abuja over the assault on a lady, Miss Uzoma Okere, in Lagos on November 3.

The victim of the recent naval ratings’ assault, Miss Uzoma Okere

Uzoma was beaten up and stripped half naked by six naval ratings attached to Arogundade, the Flag Officer, Commanding Logistic Command of the Nigerian Navy, Oghara, Delta State.

The summon comes exactly three days after the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, ordered the Navy to thoroughly investigate the incident which attracted widespread condemnation from within and outside the country.

Our correspondent in Warri gathered from a very reliable source in the Navy that a team had been constituted to drill Arogundade on the assault.

Our source, who is with the command in Oghara, said Arogundade left for Abuja through Lagos on Tuesday.

It was learnt at the command that Arogundade was directed to come in company with the ratings who assaulted Uzoma, the daughter of the National Assembly Sergeant-At-Arms, Col. Emmanuel Okere (rtd.).

The source said, “The FOC (Arogundade) has left the command in response to the summons of DHQ over the alleged assault on a lady in Lagos by the ratings attached to him. You can go to his office and you will discover that he’s not around.

“The man just packed his bags and baggage en-route Lagos for Abuja on Tuesday. The order asking him to report in Abuja came suddenly on Monday.

“You know that the incident has discredited the armed forces and the CDS was very disturbed by the negative publicity it has attracted both in the local and international media.

“The FOC was billed to return to Oghara when the order came and he had to put things in order immediately and departed from Lagos . He left in company with the six ratings who caused the trouble for him in Lagos as directed by the DHQ.

“They will appear before the in-house board of enquiry set up by DHQ on the matter before Friday. It is unfortunate that these ratings caused the problem for the FOC.

“The incident has rubbished the image of not only the Navy but the armed forces in general. It has especially eroded the gains of the campaign for better military/civil relationship by the present leadership of the armed forces.”

Efforts on Wednesday to get official confirmation of Arogundade’s summon at the Public Relations Unit of the command were futile.

The Head of the unit was not around when one of our correspondents called at his office. He also could not be reached on the telephone.

However, a senior officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the summon was in line with the position of the CDS that the incident should be investigated.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Human Rights and Ethics in Development has demanded the immediate retirement of Arogundade for allegedly allowing the naval ratings to assault Uzoma.

The group, in a statement by its Senior Programme Officer, Mr. Akin Salvage, on Wednesday said that the incident was an indication that some security officers in the country were yet to learn to be tolerant.

It described as barbaric, “a situation whereby a defenseless lady would be physically assaulted on the street of Lagos, chained and taken into unlawful detention by some uneducated, untrained and unenlightened naval ratings while transporting their boss home.”

The group commended President Umaru Yar’Adua’s order of full investigation into the incident and advised that the report of the probe should be made public.

“Admiral Arogundade, if found culpable, should be retired out-rightly from service to serve as deterrent to other erring officers who always trample the rights of innocent members of the public, while the ratings should be dismissed,” it added.

CHRED said part of Arogundade’s retirement benefits should be set aside, to pay compensation to the victim.

It said, “The fact that Arogundade blared siren was another offence he committed against the land, because he is not covered by traffic laws to make use of it on the roads.

“If Arogundade were to have behaved this way in a western country , he would probably be cooling off in jail.”

Oshiomhole takes over in Edo

Mr. Adams Oshiomhole formally assumed office as the Edo State governor on Wednesday with an admonition to his associates and supporters to shun vengeance and be at the vanguard of reconciliation in Edo State.

Oshiomhole, who was inaugurated at the Sam Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin, by the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Michael Edokpayi, however, said his administration would prevail on the police authorities to probe the death of three youths that were killed while waiting to cast their votes for him on April 14, 2007.

His journey to the Government House was made possible on Tuesday by the Court of Appeal, Benin Division, which upheld the March 20, 2008 verdict of the state Election Petitions Tribunal that he and not Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor won the April poll.

Delivering his inaugural speech at the crowded stadium, Oshiomhole, who wore his trademark Khaki shirt and trouser, said that his administration would not embark on a mission to settle scores even though a good number of his supporters might be thinking in that direction.

He said that the verdict of the tribunal indicated that if he was denied his right, the judiciary had been able to redress the injustice, thereby making vengeance unnecessary.

Oshiomhole, a former Nigeria Labour Congress president, argued that since the battle to retrieve his “stolen mandate” had been fought and won, reconciliation, friendship and the readiness to forgive were imperative.

He said, “I am aware that there are many of our supporters who are angered and pained by what we have had to go through in the past 19 months. Some of them may even be nursing the spirit of vengeance. My friends, there is so much to be done. Hate and vengeance can only suffocate and impede the clarity of thought and purpose.

“The battle has been fought and won. It is now a time for unity and reconciliation. The spirit of forgiveness will open up our minds to the challenges that lie ahead. Let us blaze the moral heights by stretching our hands of forgiveness and friendship.”

Oshiomhole said that his administration would set up a committee to decide on how to immortalise the three youths who were shot dead at the Akenzua Primary School, Benin, while waiting to exercise their civic duty on April 14, 2007.

He said that with his inauguration as governor, Edo was witnessing a new dawn where the votes of the people would be sacred.

Oshiomhole was inaugurated alongside his running mate, Dr. Pius Odubu, by 11.20am amidst fanfare and celebrations.

The turnout at the stadium was unprecedented as the joint team of policemen, soldiers and men of the Nigeria Civil Defence and Security Corps had a tough time controlling the surging and jubilant crowd.

Among prominent AC chieftains that graced the occasion were the National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; the vice-presidential candidate of the party in the April 2007 elections, Senator Ben Obi; a former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; his successor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN); the National Vice-Chairman in the South-South, Chief Tom Ikimi, and a former Edo State Governor, Chief John Oyegun.

A former Chief of General Staff under the regime of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Vice-Admiral Mike Akhigbe (rtd); the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Mr. Zakawanu Garuba, and the representatives of the Oba of Benin, led by Chief Sam Igbe, the Iyase of Benin, and traditional rulers were also present.

Shortly after the inauguration, the governor made his first appointments.

He named Mr. Pally Iriase the secretary to the State Government; Mr. Omorodion Ogie, Chief of Staff; and Mr. Eric Osagie, director of publicity.

Ogie, according to an announcement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Mrs. Betty Igbeyin, was the secretary of the Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission has said that it will study the lapses in the governorship election in Edo State which led to the removal Osunbor as governor by the Court of Appeal.

The commission also said that it would investigate the source of tabulation error that affected the election in order to determine if there was willful negligence or mischief.

It further said that anyone found to have had a hand in such laxity would not go unpunished.

The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Legal Services and Clearance Committee, Mr. Victor Chukwuani, told journalists in Abuja that the commission was awaiting a copy of the appeal court judgment.

Chukwuani, who said the judgment was a demonstration of the ideals of democracy, added that the courts and tribunals provided avenues for persons aggrieved by the decisions of the INEC to air their grievances.

On Tuesday, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Maurice Iwu, reiterated that electronic voting remained the best balloting system for the country.

Iwu, at a workshop in Abuja on balloting method for future elections in Nigeria, said the system reduces the time voters spend at polling centres.

He said, “It holds out tremendous prospects, one of which is the capacity to minimise human influence and therefore enhance confidence in polls.

“With the existence and application of the electronic voters register as well as the capacity for electronic transfer of data and results, the adoption of electronic voting machine will usher in a full use of the electronic voting system.

“There is no doubt that the nation and its electoral system will record a positive leap in advancement of this voting option comes the existence.”

Iwu, who picked holes in the Option A4 and the Open Ballot System, said that both exposed voters to danger.

November 11, 2008

Sightings: Becks, Boys and Basketball

BOYS LIFE: David Beckham, taking his Brooklyn and Romeo to an L.A. Lakers game after spending the weekend at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego.

Assault: Admiral not fit to hold rank –Victim’s father

The father of the victim of the naval ratings‘ brutality in Lagos, Col. Emeka Okere (rtd), has said that the conduct of Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade was unbecoming of a military officer of his rank.

The victim of the recent naval ratings’ assault, Miss Uzoma Okere

He criticised the naval officer for watching his men beat and strip his daughter, Uzoma.

Okere, the Sergeant-At-Arms of the National Assembly, in an exclusive interview with our correspondent on Monday in Abuja said that all he wanted was justice, irrespective of who was involved.

He also said that claims that he tendered apologies to the admiral when he spoke to him on the phone was unfounded.

He said, “The issue of apology cannot come up because it is something I did not witness. I was in Abuja here and she was in Lagos; I just saw my daughter‘s name as my phone rang.

“She was not the one that initiated the call; and I tried to speak to her, it was impossible. I was only hearing her crying from a distance, ‘leave me alone, leave me alone, I have done nothing.‘

“Apparently, it appeared to me that she was besieged by some people. Her friend who held the phone told me that she was being beaten by some naval people, that was when I pictured what was happening.”

He said Arogundade had painted a very wrong picture to him about what was happening.

Okere said, “He tried to tell me that he knew me, that I was his senior; but I told him it was not the issue, but that somebody was distressed.

“How can I apologise for somebody being beaten, even beaten to death; where on earth would such a thing be done?

“If a senior officer of the level of an admiral, whose boys did the battering and he was watching, that person should not wear the rank he is wearing. Because it takes a lot; a rear admiral is equivalent to a major general; if you cannot control six ratings at his level, then I don‘t think he is fit to be an admiral.

“Yes, because he watched the whole drama unfold and he was in a position to control the incident; he would have told the boys to stop the act, knowing that they were under the public glare.

“People were watching; I am sure if that person did not use his secret camera to take the pictures, everything would have been denied. I did not know that the battering was to that extent.”

Okere added that the fact that the admiral knew him and they were colleagues should have caused him to end the matter quickly.

“So there was nothing he did to show any relationship. I read in the papers where he said I taught him in the military school and that we were colleagues and so on, but the espirit des corps was completely missing,” he said.

He also disputed the notion that it was a military culture to deliver corporal punishment to civilians at any time there was a disagreement with them.

He added that no right- thinking officer would maltreat a civilian he was being paid to protect.

He said, “I wore the uniform for so many years; and I don‘t think I went out of my way to humiliate anybody. The mere fact that you are in uniform should make you humble because you are one out of so many.”

Lagos bans governors, others from use of siren

The Lagos Government on Monday barred visiting governors and top government officials from using siren in the state.

The Lagos State Governor, Mr.

The state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, announced the ban in Lagos just as the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Paul Dike, ordered the naval headquarters to thoroughly investigate the alleged assault on a 27-year-old lady, Miss Uzoma Okere, by some naval ratings in Lagos.

Although Fashola did not attribute the ban to the assault on Uzoma by the ratings attached to the convoy of Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade, he however said the use of siren by those in authority was a way of terrorising taxpayers whom they were supposed to serve.

The governor, who does not use siren, added that those who do had “continued to constitute an unacceptable slur on the state’s traffic management system.”

He said, “ I have successfully demonstrated that you need patience and not the siren to negotiate through the traffic in Lagos. I seek the cooperation of all and sundry to demonstrate its benefit, including visiting governors and other public officers.

“Let us all get rid of these nuisance on which we spend millions of our hard-earned money to keep the producers in Europe and America in business while we use it to terrorise the taxpayers who we serve.”

Fashola also announced the ban on commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, in some parts of the state from 7pm.

The affected areas are Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Ikeja.

He said that commercial motorcycles had become a major tool for criminals in facilitating their nefarious activities.

He also pointed out that while government recognised the fact that commercial motorcycles had become a major means of transportation in the state, there was the need to strictly guide their operations.

Fashola said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the provision of the Road Traffic Law, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority Law, the Bus Rapid Transit ‘Lite’ Regulation and the Motor Vehicle Registration and Administration Authority Law all regulate the operation of Okada in the state.

“In keeping with my constitutional duties, particularly section 5 (2) (b) of the Constitution, I have given an executive order restricting the movement of motorcycles during certain hours in specified areas, namely Ikeja, Ikoyi and Victoria Island. This will be strictly and rigorously enforced.”

Meanwhile, the CDS, Air Chief Marshall Dike, on Monday ordered that a report on the assault on Uzoma, daughter of the National Assembly’s Seargeant-at- arms, Col. Emmanuel Okere (rtd.), be sent to him in order to ensure that the law was followed to the letter.

Dike, in a three-paragraph statement by the Director of Defence Information, Col. Chris Jemitola, described the incident as ‘embarrassing and worrisome.’

He expressed the regrets of the Defence Headquarters, saying the assault on the lady had brought odium to the military.

The statement reads, “The Defence Headquarters regrets the embarrassing incident involving a naval convoy and Miss Okere in Lagos on Monday, November 3, 2008.

“The incident is more worrisome especially now that efforts are on to change the poor perception the civil populace have of the military.

“The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, has directed Naval Headquarters to carry out a full and thorough investigation into the incident and report to him immediately as he assures all that the rule of law will be fully observed.”

Uzoma was reportedly beaten and stripped to her underwear by the ratings for allegedly refusing to give way to the convoy of Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade on Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The Senate Committee on Navy had on Thursday asked the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Isaiah Ibrahim, to explain the reasons why the ratings assaulted Uzoma.

The Senate committee‘s action was sequel to a petition by the victim‘s father, urging it to look into the matter with the view to bringing his daughter‘s attackers to justice.

The Director of Defence Information had in his initial reaction to the incident claimed that Uzoma provoked the ratings when she allegedly snatched a horsewhip from one of them to beat him.

But Uzoma, at a press conference in Lagos on Sunday, said the naval spokesman was being economical with the truth.

But an associate of Arogundade, Mr. Lanre Osodi, who claimed to have been with the Rear Admiral when the case was reported to him claimed that Uzoma confirmed to the senior officer that she snatched a rating’s horsewhip.

Already, Uzoma has sued Arogundade and the naval ratings for the alleged assault, demanding N100m. She has been offered free legal counsel by the Lagos State Government.