September 30, 2009



September 24, 2009

Michael Jackson vs. Britney Spears: Pop Go the Singles!

Michael Jackson, Britney Spears Get ready for two new singles from two—like it or not, Britney haters—pop icons: One whose recording career hasn't exactly been showing signs of life lately and the other whose, well, life hasn't exactly been showing signs of life lately.

That's right, just in case a feature-length documentary, unrelenting media coverage (you're welcome?) and a tribute milkshake weren't enough to slake the public's thirst for the King of Pop, Sony Music Entertainment today announced it will be releasing Michael Jackson's first posthumous single, "This Is It," Oct. 12.

We're guessing if sales go as hoped, this definitely won't be it...

Little is being revealed about the track, including when or where it was recorded, though Jackson had seemingly spent the last few years perpetually prepping for a comeback, with will.i.am and Akon among his confirmed in-studio collaborators.

And as with all things Jackson, the new single will be a family affair.

Jackson's brothers provided the background vocals on the song, which will play over the closing credits of This Is It.

"This song only defines, once again, what the world already knows—that Michael is one of God's greatest gifts," said Jackson estate coexecutor (and longtime music exec) John McClain.

Clearly, the man has been taking promotional lessons from Papa Joe.

The single will also launch a new two-disc greatest-hits collection set for release this October. In addition to the track, the set will include one album of Jackson's greatest hits and another featuring unreleased versions of said hits. The second album will also feature a spoken-word poem from Jackson, "Planet Earth."

As for Brit-Brit, she's been keeping a relatively low profile lately, but expect that to change soon. Like, next week.

Next Tuesday, Spears is releasing "3," a brand-new single that will hopefully also help springboard her own greatest-hits album into the charts.

The Singles Collection, to be released Nov. 24, marks 10 years since the risqué pig-tailed schoolgirl wedged herself into our pop culture consciousness.

The album will be available in two editions, both standard and an ultimate fan box set. The bonus-packed latter will feature B-sides and remixes, additional artwork and a DVD of Britney's video career in chronological order. It also boasts 29 tracks compared to the standard set's 17.

Bank MD loots N97bn • Invests N12bn depositors’ funds in personal firm



Following the second round of banks’ audit exercise conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), officials of the apex bank found that a managing director (name withheld), whose shareholders have strong political influence in the current administration, allocated to himself share capital of N85 billion that is yet to be paid up.

Daily Sun source also revealed that the same MD allocated shares to a local airline to the tune of N18 billion as corporate investments. The airline, the source said, denied knowledge of the deal. The bank MD is also alleged to have invested N12 billion depositors’ funds in a supposed subsidiary of the bank.

The source said the company was found to be the MD’s private firm. The conclusion of the latest audit has already sparked fear in the financial sector. The CBN examiners were said to have concentrated on liquidity; loan verification such as loans to stockbrokers, petroleum products importers, performing and non performing loans; corporate governance issues; processes and resources spent on information technology.

The funding is contrary to CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido’s conclusion that the remaining banks were not as bad as the others.
According to him, he did not expect many surprises as the remaining 14 banks were not significantly different but latest development had proven him wrong.
It was gathered that the apex bank was yet to conduct what they described as forensic accounting investigation on any of the 24 banks in the country.

The managing director of at least one bank has reportedly visited the State Security Service (SSS), to deposit his passport. This is to prevent him from travelling abroad.
Bankers are of the view that two or three banks may be affected by the decision of Mallam Lamido not to allow family banks in the country anymore.
The CBN governor’s policy to end family owned banks, the bankers believed, may be partly responsible for the fate of Oceanic Bank and Intercontinental Bank, seen as being dominated by the personality of their managing directors.

Sanusi at a forum on Wednesday while briefing capital market operators warned that CBN would not allow banks to be run as a sole proprietorship but as institutions that would imbibe the tenets of good corporate governance, promising to treat shareholders of the affected banks fairly and also ensure that, henceforth, banks in the country were run as institutions rather than as sole proprietorships.

Sanusi also allayed fears of nationalizing the five troubled banks whose managing directors and executive directors were sacked following their gross misuse of shareholders’ funds and inability to meet up with other banking statutory obligations.

The governor said the results of the remaining banks would be made known in October 2009, but opined that their results would be better than those of the 10 banks examined earlier from which five were summarily sacked.
The CBN governor had on August 14 sacked the managing director of and executive directors of Afribank Plc, Finbank Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc and Union Bank Plc. The examination was conducted by a joint team of CBN and NDIC officials.

According to the CBN audit the major findings on the five banks were excessive high-level non-performing loans, which led to poor corporate governance practices, lax credit administration processes and the absence or non-adherence to the bank’s credit risk management practices, leaving the percentage of non-performing loans from 19 per cent to 48 per cent. The five banks will, therefore, need to make additional provision of N539.09 billion.

The total loan portfolio of these five banks was N2, 801.92 billion. Margin loans amounted to N456.28 billion and exposure to oil and gas was N487.02 billion. Aggregate of non-performing loans were N1,143 billion representing 40.81 per cent. The five banks accounted for a disproportionate component of the total exposure to capital market and oil and gas, thus reflecting heavy concentration to high risk areas relative to other banks in the industry.

The five banks were either perennial net-takers of funds in the inter-bank market or enjoyed liquidity support from the CBN for long periods of time, a clear evidence of liquidity problem. In other words, these banks were unable to meet their maturing obligations as they fall due without resorting to the CBN or the inter-bank market.

Further checks revealed that the outstanding balance on the EDW of the five banks amounted to N127.85 billion by end July 2009, representing 89.81 per cent of the total industry exposure to the CBN on its discount window while their net guaranteed inter-bank takings stood at N253.30 billion as at August 2, 2009. Their liquidity ratios ranged from 17.65 per cent to 24 per cent as at May 31, 2009. The banking regulatory minimum is 25 per cent as spelt out by the apex bank.

September 17, 2009

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September 14, 2009

**AS GANI GOES HOME : How he ‘breathed’ life into political parties

PRIOR to 2002, Nigeria had only three officially recognised political parties- Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alliance for Democracy (AD) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).

However, due to the various contradictions inherent in the three existing parties, coupled with the desire of many Nigerians who don’t believe in them and the necessity for fresh political alternatives, it became inevitable for the emergence of several political associations.

Buoyed by the liberal provisions in the 1999 constitution on the formation of political parties, these individuals formed about 33 political associations which applied to the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) for registration.

Gani

Gani

However, the INEC, on May 17, 2002, rolled out what it termed guidelines for registration of political parties, contrary to the provisions of the constitution particularly sections 222 to 224. The 33 political associations under the aegies of Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), led by Chief Gani Fawehinmi, met to reject this extra-constitutional guidelines.

When it became obvious that the INEC was still intransigent to follow due process, Fawehinmi filed a case at the Federal High Court to challenge the INEC illegality. But for the doggedness and resilience of Fawehinmi, who was the chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP), by going to court on this issue, there would not have been Action Congress (AC), Labour Party, Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and the rest of the opposition parties we have today.

The case was fought up to the Supreme Court which gave judgment in favour of the political parties, thanks to the resilience of Gani who literarily worked day and night for three days along side one of his counsel, Adindu Ugwuzor, to make sure that the appeals at both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court were filed within time and the briefs of argument ready on time.

Work in progress on Gani's final resting place

Work in progress on Gani's final resting place

The case was lost at the Federal High Court. This led to an appeal at the Court of Appeal, which, in a landmark decision, upturned the Federal High Court’s decision and upheld the appeal, agreeing substantially with the submissions of Fawehinmi.

The INEC, in its attempt to buy time and stultify the implementation of the Court of Appeal epochal decision, decided to lodge an appeal at the Supreme Court which, in a monumental and historic judgment on November 8, 2002, altered the political landscape of the country by allowing for more political parties in the country, hence the deluge of parties that we have today.

The unanimous Supreme Court’s decision was given by Justices Muhammadu Lawal Uwais (who presided), SalihuAlfa Belgore, Idris Legbo Kutigi, Anthony Iguh, Akintola Ejiwumi, Emmanuel Olayinka Ayoola and Niki Tobi.

Excerpts of the lead judgment read by Justice Ayoola: “The plaintiffs were associations seeking registration as political parties. By virtue of section 221 of the Constitution, “No association, other than a political party, shall canvass for votes for any candidate at any election or contribute to the funds of any political party or to the election expenses of any candidate at an election.

Originating summons
The plaintiffs each applied to the Independent National Electoral Commission (“INEC” or “the Commission) for registration as a political party. On 17th day of May, 2002 INEC released guidelines for the registration of political parties.

Being of the view that guidelines 2(c) and (d), 3(a), (c), (d)(iv), (e), (f), (g), (h); and 5(b) (“the impugned guidelines”) were “inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 relating to registration of political parties” and that they should not be made to comply with the guidelines, the plaintiffs commenced the proceedings from which this appeal arose by originating summons whereby they sought, among other things, declarations of invalidity of those impugned guidelines and also of sections 74(2)(g) and (h), 74((x), 77(b), 78(2)(b) and 79(2)(c) of the Electoral Act, 2001.

INEC is one of the Federal Executive Bodies established by section 153(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. Its composition and powers are by virtue of section 153(2) contained in part 1 of the third schedule to the Constitution, paragraph 15(b) of which empowers it to: “register political parties in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution end an Act of the National Assembly”, while paragraph 15(c) and (d), respectively, provided that the Commission shall have power to “monitor the organization and operation of the political parties, including their finances” and “carry out such other function, as may conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly.”

“To put the issues in the appeal in proper perspective, it is expedient to pause to emphasise that by section 14(1) of the Constitution the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice.

Political parties are essential organs of the democratic system. They are organs of political discussion and of formulation of ideas, policies and programmes. Plurality of parties widens the channel of political discussion and discourse, engenders plurality of political issues, promotes the formulation of competing ideas, policies and programmes and generally provides the citizen with a choice of forum for participation in governance, whether as a member of the party in government or of a party in opposition, thereby ensuring the reality of government by discussion which democracy is all about in the final analysis.

“Unduly to restrict the formation of political parties weakens the democratic culture. However, to leave political parties completely unregulated and unmonitored may eventually make the democratic system so unmanageable as to become a hindrance to progress, national unity, good government and the growth of a healthy democratic culture.

Between the two apparent extremes over-regulation and complete absence of regulation is the need for balanced regulation. In interpreting the provisions of the Constitution and enactment relating to the formation, regulation and monitoring of political parties the recognition of the need for balanced regulation is essential.

“However, although section 40 of the Constitution entrenched the right of every person to form or belong to a political party, it is clear from the provision to that section and several other provisions of the Constitution that the makers of the Constitution did not opt to leave political parties unregulated by the State.

Regulation of political parties by the State manifests in the fact that the Constitution itself has set conditions for the existence and recognition of political parties – and empowered the National Assembly to legislate for the regulation of political parties that may have already fulfilled the conditions of eligibility to function as political parties as prescribed by section 222 of the Constitution.

Regulation of political parties by the State therefore comes in two forms, namely: regulation directly by the Constitution as in section 222 and regulation authorized by the legislature or other agency of the state as may be permitted by the constitution.

It follows that any attempt to regulate political parties not by the Constitution itself or by its authority is invalid.

In the final analysis, this case is about the supremacy of the Constitution. Section 1(3) of the Constitution provided that: “If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void.

“The National Assembly has powers, by virtue of section 228(d) of constitution, to confer by law powers on INEC as may appear to the necessary or desirable for the purpose of enabling the Commission more effectively to ensure that political parties observe provisions of sections”

ASUU strike dangerous to growth of education – Ajibola

FORMER judge of International Court of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola has said in Ibadan that the current face-off between the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is a dangerous signal in view of the low rating of the country’s university system.

He said other countries of the world had found alternative to incessant strike as a means of settling dispute and the earlier the Nigerian university system chooses a better approach, the better for our dwindling education standard.

Unless something is done that would bring about quick resolution of the crisis between ASUU and FG, both parties in the impasse would turn our country into an illiterate country considering the fact that none of our universities could be rated among the 1,000 universities in the world.

“It is sad and the earlier our people in the ASUU can sit down and see how best to keep our universities on, the better. If you go round the world, you will find that what is happening here is unique”, he lamented.

The renowed jurist,at the first annual lecture organised by the Muslim Ummah of South West of Nigeria (MUSWEN), weekend, said the fees paid in the government universities across the country could not be compared with what is paid in private varsities.

government and the academic in order to ensure that they can live together and can move things on and make progress. If we continue to say that the country is going down and everything is a failure, we are also contributing to that failure”.

Continuing, he pointed out further a lot of these things could be ironed out by ordinary dialogue, looking into the situation and finding solution anytime that we are having problem of this nature””.

He defended the action of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria , Alhaji Sanusi Lamido on the five prominent banks saying ““there is nothing wrong with the CBN’s line of action to look into whatever is wrong with our banking system and the activities of our private banks”.

“To start with, if there is anything wrong in the way they have been operating the banks, let them be done in a very judicial manner. Let the matter be taken to court; let the parties be heard and let the decisions of the court hold”” the legal icon stated.

“It is very frightening and very disturbing, with all the allegations that they have made against the banks, particularly those who are operating the banks as chief executives. Now, they are still all allegations. We have not heard their own sides of the story”.

“The principle of justice and fair play and fair hearing is such that they must hear them too. Once they are heard and if they have done something wrong, they should be accordingly sanctioned. If not they should be allowed to go on operating their banks, the way they have operating before now. That should be made abundantly clear”, said he..

CBN considers 3 sales options for 5 banks


LAGOS — THE management of the Central Bank (CBN) is considering three options to recapitalise the country’s five troubled banks.

The banks are: Intercontinetal Bank; Oceanic Bank; Union Bank; Finbank and Afribank.
CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had said that the CBN will not sell the banks to foreign investors and that the N420 billion injected into the banks which he initially said, in his letter to the banks, was tier two capital was now long-term loan from the expanded discount window to the affected banks to be paid back over a long period of time

Option 1: Rights issue

However a CBN official who spoke with Vanguard said that “The Central Bank is considering three local options aimed at acquisitions of the five troubled banks following the seeming collapse of its offshore investment mission.

The three options which the apex bank is considering are: Rights Issue — in which the apex bank hopes to execute a rights issue, converting the tier two capital (the amount injected) to 80 per cent stake in the affected banks’ shareholding, leaving the other shareholders with 20 per cent.”

This will mean converting the N420 billion injected into the five banks into equity holding. But there is a division in the CBN ranks regarding this option because of its legal implication, moreover, CBN does not have the legal backing to execute a rights issue.

Government lawyers are said have advised the CBN against this option.
Insider sources say most of the more experienced Deputy Governors and Directors of the apex bank have also kicked against this option, pointing to the legal loopholes inherent in the current exercise which has attracted criticisms from some quarters.

“The argument here,” the CBN official said, “is that as a result of huge non-performing loans in the five banks, their capital has been eroded and so new investors hold greater share through fresh capital. But with the aggressive loan recovery, this may not stand the test of time as the positions of the banks have been highly enhanced.”

Option 2: Scheme of Arrangement

The CBN management is said to be considering the alternative of getting the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange NSE, to do a “Scheme of Arrangement”. The thinking in the CBN is that this option is the most viable now and if applied, it will involve a legal means of bringing shareholders of these banks to an extra-ordinary General Meeting to agree to a merger or acquisition arrangement.

According to the officials, only SEC and the NSE have the statutory power to initiate and enforce this option. It was learnt that the apex bank will, this week, commence discussion with other financial regulators on how to implement this arrangement.

Option 3: Acquisition

CBN insiders also told Vanguard that if the first two options fail, the apex bank would then go for the third option which is acquisition.

This involves nominating a bank in the country to acquire any of the five banks and then backing the action with statutory powers.

The implication of this new initiative is that for now, the ‘foreign investor’ route appears to have been jettisoned by the CBN.

It will be recalled that the CBN Governor, on August 14, said that “the huge provisioning requirements of the five banks have led to significant capital impairment. Consequently, all the banks are under-capitalised for their current levels of operations and are required to increase their provisions for loan losses, which impacted negatively on their capital.

“Indeed one is technically insolvent with a Capital Adequacy Ratio of (1.01%). Thus, a minimum capital injection of N204.94 billion will be required in the 5 banks to meet the minimum capital adequacy ratio of 10 per cent.

“The five banks were either perennial net-takers of funds in the inter-bank market or enjoyed liquidity support from the CBN for long periods of time, a clear evidence of liquidity.

In other words, these banks were unable to meet their maturing obligations as they fall due without resorting to the CBN or the inter-bank market. As a matter of fact, the outstanding balance on the EDW of the five banks amounted to N127.85 billion by end July 2009, representing 89.81% of the total industry exposure to the CBN on its discount window while their net guaranteed inter-bank takings stood at N253.30 billion as at August 02, 2009.

Their Liquidity Ratios ranged from 17.65% to 24% as at May 31, 2009. (Regulatory minimum is 25%).
“Consequently, the CBN is injecting a total of about N420 billion into these five banks with immediate effect in form of Tier 2 Capital to be repaid from proceeds of capitalization in the near future. This injection is sufficient to resolve and stabilize all the institutions and enable them continue normal business.

The injection of fresh capital by the CBN is a temporary measure as government does not intend to hold the shares for long and shall divest its holdings as soon as new investors recapitalise these banks”.

Court rules on bail application on bank chiefs today - As CBN may give soft landing to 11 bank chiefs

Justice Dan Abutu of the Federal High Court in Lagos will today rule on the bail applications of some bank executives and others that were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the 31st of August over alleged insider abuse and financial crimes running into billions of naira.

Those who will know their fate today include Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, the former Managing Director of Oceanic Bank; the former Managing Director of Afribank Plc, Sebastine Adigwe and Peter Ololo, the Managing Director of Falcon Securities Limited.

Others are the Ex-MD of Union Bank, Bartholomew Ebong and his co-accused, Henry Onyemem and Niyi Albert Opeodu. The court will also rule on the bail applications of Mr. Okey Nwosu, Ex-MD of FinBank Nigeria Plc and the seven Executive Directors of Intercontinental Bank Plc on Tuesday.

At the last adjourned date, the court ordered that Sebastine Adigwe and Peter Ololo, be remanded in prison custody while the rest, including the seven Executive Directors of Intercontinental Bank Plc, were remanded in EFCC custody.

The anti-graft commission opposed the bail applications of all the accused persons. Meanwhile, there are indications that the release of the audit result of 11 banks which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) promised a fortnight ago may not materialise as the apex bank decided to give the banks a clean bill of health

The apex bank is said to be seriously considering the option of making the affected banks correct any unethical practice noticed in the course of auditing the 11 banks while a list of debtors in the audited banks would be made public.

According to the Nigerian Tribune findings, the apex bank decided to shelve the release of the audit reports to avoid the problems encountered when the audit results of the initial five banks were released.

Troubled banks begin audit of staff

A major crisis that may exacerbate the fragile state of the nation’s banking sector is looming. This stems from the ongoing staff audit in the five troubled banks, which may see thousands of bank workers lose their jobs.

Investigations by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that the mass purge would not be limited to the crisis-ridden banks but even some banks certified satisfactory by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and those whose audit probe reports were still being awaited.

Meanwhile, the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) and National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE), the umbrella bodies of junior and senior staff of banks, and Trade Union Congress (TUC), which are yet to recover from the recent sack in FirstBank and Wema Bank are threatening to cripple the operations of the banks while the banks are insisting on going on with their plans.

A competent source at one of the troubled banks told the Nigerian Tribune in Lagos that the staff audit was in line with the mandate of the CBN to the new managements of the banks, stating that the apex regulatory body clearly instructed the banks to restructure their operations and cut costs accordingly.

In his reaction, CBN’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, said the CBN governor, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s major concern now was to ensure the banking industry remained safe and sound.

Only recently, FirstBank was reported to have sent packing hundreds of its staff but the bank’s Head, Media Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mr. Steve Omanufeme, said there were no plans for a “mass sacking” by the bank, adding that on the contrary, as part of the bank’s staff replenishment strategy, the bank had employed a total of 506 fresh graduates in the last three months.

He noted, however, that “In our multi-generational existence, FirstBank will naturally have a number of staff that qualify for retirement each year. Their scheduled exit from the institution has, sometimes and regrettably, been misconstrued by some labour unions as “sacking,” thus fuelling misinformation in the press. In the financial year just ended, the number of staff due for retirement, by virtue of age and length of service, is less than 100 which is a far cry from the 450 reported in some newspapers.”

Wema Bank disengaged 151 of its workers, in what was described as the first phase of the work force trimming exercise. A statement signed by the bank’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Tunde Olofintila, said the decision to send packing some of its workers was to enable it to create a bank that could compete in the current banking landscape, adding the development was in consonance with the three-phase transformation plan of repositioning, stabilising and growing the bank to enable the 64-year old financial institution to regain its prime position as a leading bank in Nigeria.

He added that as part of the bank’s adjustments to survive these times, such internal services currently provided in the bank by workers like secretaries, drivers, security guards, office assistants and cleaners would henceforth be out-sourced.

According to Olofintila who said “the new management has implemented a new Service Delivery Model (SDM) with some redeployment effected to support the new SDM. The bank is already implementing some new initiatives which will dovetail into 500 former staff of Wema Bank Ventures of various cadres and over 200 former youth corps members being offered jobs in Wema Bank while another set of over 240 Wema Bank Ventures Staff would be converted into tellers to support the bank’s branch operations.”

In his reaction, NUBIFIE’s National President, Mr. Hassan Adeleke, said the union could not be a party to any sack of its members under any guise, stressing that the workers should not be made scapegoats of the current developments in the sector.

According to him, “as a trade union organisation, we wish to caution the new interim managements of the affected banks not to transfer, in any form or anyway, the effects of the reckless loan saga and other management failures to affect the continuity/security of jobs of employees who, often, are themselves victims of such unwholesome actions of management.”

Also, Acting National President and Secretary-General of the union of ASSBIFI, Mr. Olusoji Salako and Jarvis Erhomosele, stated that the respective managements of such banks must follow due process, as stated in Article 5(b) Part II (Section I) of the Collective Agreement relating to redundancy and S.20 of the Labour Act, adding that it was an irresponsible union that would fold its arms in the present circumstances.

They opined that they would ensure banks that dispensed with the services of their employees without due process were shut down.

N6.1bn V-mobile shares scam: FG orders probe of ex-govs’ clearance - Tinubu, Ibori, Attah stand cleared - AGF insists


AS controversy rages over the alleged clearance of three former governors fingered in an alleged $38 million (about N6.1 billion) V-mobile shares scam, a new twist has crept into it with the Presidency said to have ordered investigation into the issues in contention between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa (SAN).

The former governors are Senator Bola Tinubu of Lagos State, Chief Victor Attah of Akwa Ibom State and Chief James Ibori of Delta State. Aondoakaa stirred up the hornet’s nest when he said in Abuja, on Thursday, that the trio had been cleared by the anti-graft commission over alleged money laundering in the sale of their states’ shares in V-mobile through a private firm, African Development Funds Inc.

He also stated that he refused to cooperate with Britain, which was also probing the former governors over the matter, because the anti-graft commission had cleared them.

But the commission, in a swift reaction 24 hours later, put a lie to the minister’s claim, disclosing that the three former governors were still being probed over the alleged scam.

Aondoakaa is the commission’s supervising minister. The institutional crisis between the commission and the minister, according to a highly-placed source, could not be ignored by the Presidency, which reportedly ordered the anti-graft agency to get to the root of the controversy surrounding the alleged clearance.

Nigerian Tribune further gathered that the presidential directive had seen the commission swing into action with its intelligence unit after a purported letter said to have been written in the name of the commission to the Metropolitan Police in London clearing the former governors.

The letter, according to the Nigerian Tribune source, was said to have been made available to some media houses for publication by a certain top government official with the source, adding that the person that released the letter might have told those who had it for publication not to go ahead yet, due to the presidential intervention in the matter.

It was learnt that the commission had resolved to arrest and prosecute whoever signed the purported letter once it could lay its hands on it, describing the letter as forgery.

Nigerian Tribune source reasoned that since the commission could not exchange any correspondence with any country that has Mutual Legal Agreement Treaty (MLAT) with Nigeria without going through the office of the AGF, it stands to reason that the purported letter of clearance to the Metropolitan Police could not have been issued by the commission.

Investigation is also said to have been intensified on the alleged scam. However, the embattled minister has insisted that the former governors stand cleared on the shares saga, despite the commission’s protestation.

In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Sunday and signed by his spokesperson, Mr. Taye Akinyemi, the minister stated that “If EFCC says that the ex-governors have not been cleared on the issue of the professional fee paid to the ADFI, we won’t join issues with the commission.

“But I want to think that the EFCC chairman was misquoted. “What I believe the EFCC Chairman could have said was the fact that they have been cleared on this issue of the professional fees paid to the ADFI does not mean that other investigations on other issues are not ongoing.

“Nevertheless, I can’t see any conflict in what the AGF has said and what EFCC is saying. “The issue in question is the professional fee and brokerage paid by these ex-governors to ADFI with respect to the sale of the shares owned by their respective states in V-mobile.

“The press statement issued by my boss on the case relates to the issue of the professional fees paid by them to the ADFI which is the subject-matter of criminal litigation before the London court.

“He has said that the Federal Government would refuse prosecution of any Nigerian before a London court on offences which ingredients are domiciled in Nigeria.

“In this case, the Metropolitan Police are before the London Court against ADFI on the grounds that the professional fees paid by the three ex-governors to it are proceeds of crime (money-laundering).

“And the fact of this case is that the issue of the professional fees paid to ADFI has been investigated in Nigeria by EFCC and those involved have been cleared.

“The court case by EFCC started in Nigeria against the ADFI itself has been withdrawn by EFCC upon its discovery that no prima facie case stood against the incorporation.

“The Attorney-General has no problem with EFCC, even on this issue. They have a cordial working relationship,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has described Aondoakaa as a man of doubtful integrity and stated that no amount of campaign of rebranding can clean the odious image of Nigeria in the comity of nations with men as the minister still holding public office.

Calling for his immediate sack, the group recalled in a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Osita Okechukwu, that for the first time, the EFCC had unveiled and exposed the serial role of the minister as a chief law officer whom it alleged blatantly obstructed justice, perverted the law and dampened the anti-graft war and exposed his comments to the effect that EFCC has exonerated three corrupt ex-governors when the matter is still pending in court.

It noted that it was a paradox that the chief law officer who requested the US Justice Department to invoke the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in the Halliburton matter is today obstructing and rejecting the request from the British to invoke the same treaty.

The CNPP was of the view that Aondoakaa never served the cause of justice nor the collective interest of Nigeria in the discharge of his assignment to coordinate Siemens, Wilbros, Halliburton and other scams he was mandated to oversee.

The group went further to allege that when the Federal Executive Council (FEC) mandated Aondoakaa to review the Uwais Electoral Reform Committee Report, he not only bastardised and mutilated the report but rejected the core ingredients which can guarantee a truly independent election commission and violence free and fair elections among others.

Also, the Monitoring Group (TMG) has condemned the statement credited to Aondoakaa that the EFCC had cleared the former Delta State governor, Chief James Ibori and called for his resignation.

The TMG chairman, Mr. Moshood Erubami, in a statement in Ibadan on Sunday said that the statement credited to the minister but later proved to be untrue had reopened the doubt of Nigerians on whether the minister was not a big threat to the war against corruption by the Yar’Adua administration.

According to TMG, the statement was least expected from a number one law officer of the country and capable of tarnishing that image of Nigeria and Nigerians in the eyes of the international community.

I’m not on the run – Akingbola


Deposed managing director of International Bank Plc, Dr Erastus Akingbola has said he was not on the run.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had declared Akingbola wanted over its investigation into the affairs of Intercontinental Bank and four other banks whose Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) were sacked along with Akingbola by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on August 14, 2009.

However, Akingbola who is also the President of Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB), has debunked the insinuation and speculation in the media that he had gone underground to evade arrest as he was in United Kingdom.

Speaking through his media assistant, Suleimon Adefajo in a statement, dated September 13, 2009, Akingbola breaking his silence for the first time since his dramatic removal from office, categorically stated that he was neither evading arrest nor ‘on the run’ as being claimed.
According to the statement, the detention of the ex-bank chiefs being was a deliberate move to silence and prevent them from presenting their side of the story.

The statement reads in part:
“He is not guilty of any wrongdoing but appears targeted for persecution and for character desmirchment. He is currently in the UK.
Our client believes that the prime objective of detaining all those arrested is to prevent them from presenting their side of the story.
“All persons should be presumed innocent until proved guilty by a court of law. As soon as it was alleged that he was evading arrest, Dr Akingbola notified the UK authorities of his whereabouts and provided full contact details through his legal representatives.”

The statement noted that Akingbola had already challenged his removal from office by seeking judicial review of the (CBN/NDIC) ad-hoc committee report that reportedly recommended his sack, while absolving himself of any wrongdoings to warrant his removal.
While calling on all parties to respect the ongoing judicial process in the matter, the statement warned against making prejudicial statement capable of undermining the court process.

Four ex-bank chiefs currently in detention whose bail application will be decided today by Justice Daniel Abutu, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court includes, Sebastian Adigwe of Afribank Plc, Okey Nwosu of Finbank Plc, Bartholomew Ebong of Union Bank Plc and Dr (Mrs) Cecilia Ibru of Oceanic Bank Plc.
They, along with some directors including non-executive directors of Intercontinental Bank are facing prosecution for sundry offences in which over N400 billion was said to have been lost by the banks.
Akingbola, following his removal filed a suit before Lagos Federal High Court challenging his alleged illegal removal from office.

In the suit filed by his counsel, Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), he joined both the Governor of CBN, Lamido Sanusi and the CBN as co-respondents.
Specifically, he prayed the court for an order of certiorari to remove into the court and quash the order of CBN governor of August 14, 2009 made on behalf of the apex bank which terminated his career as the CEO of the bank.

Following the permission sought and obtained from the court to serve the both Sanusi and CBN through substituted means, process in the matter were advertised in six national dailies as ordered by the court.
Among other reliefs, Akingbola in the substantive suit is praying the court to declare that no ‘special examination’ was conducted into the affairs of Intercontinental Bank by the ad-hoc committee of CBN/NDIC as statutorily required under the Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOIF) Act Cap. B3, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (2004) during the management headed by the applicant.

He also prayed the court to make an order nullifying and quashing the appointment of Joseph Ajewole and Lai Alabi as the Deputy Managing Director and Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank respectively and order his reinstatement in office.
The suit which was commenced by the retired Chief Judge of the Court, Justice Mustapha Abdullahi will be taken over today for adjudication by Justice Ibrahim Auta.

September 3, 2009

Chelsea banned from making transfers

FIFA have banned Chelsea from registering any new players until January 2011, meaning they will not be able to recruit any new signings for two transfer windows.

Gael Kakuta; Moustapha Salifou

DarrenWalsh/GettyImages

Gael Kakuta up against West Ham's Moustapha Salifou on August 25

World football's governing body imposed the sanctons after investigating a complaint from Ligue 1 Lens over the transfer of Gael Kakuta in 2007.

FIFA's Dispute Resolution Chamber passed the decision on a contractual dispute between the French club and their English counterparts.

A statement from FIFA read: "The DRC found that the player had indeed breached a contract signed with the French club. Equally, the DRC deemed it to be established that the English club induced the player to such a breach

"As a result the player was condemned to pay compensation in the amount of €780,000, for which the club, Chelsea, are jointly and severally liable, and sporting sanctions were imposed on both the player and Chelsea in accordance with art. 17 par. 3 and 4 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.

A restriction of four months on his eligibility to play in official matches has been imposed on Kakuta. Chelsea are banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the two next entire and consecutive registration periods following the notification of the present decision.

"Furthermore, the club, Chelsea, have to pay Lens training compensation in the amount of €130,000."

September 1, 2009

MY FREEDOM SETTINGS THAT STUN...

After registering on freedom website ,install and input the following settings:
click on port;tick sock 4/5,web proxy port and open vpn.
click message: tick AUTOSCROLL and under MINIMUM LEVEL check DEBUG
click status-configure:SERVER CONNECTION enter (ems24.you-freedom.de).connection mode-udp..the port will automatically change to 53.
Also check:automatically switch server,automatically connect on startup,recconect after server shutdown,sock4/5,enable encryption,enable re-keying.save and exit.
click settings and check (do not allow pop up)
Click on proxy settings and enter 10.199.212.2 as proxy address and 8080 as port.username/pswd-web.save and exit.
After all the above settings,go to ur browser,click on tools,internet option and change your network i.p and port settings to 127.0.0.1 port-8080.
N.B- YOU HAVE TO INSTALL VPN AND RUN IT ANYTIME YOU WANT S TO USE YOUR-FREEDOM.
ENJOY!!!!!!!