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.