The YNaija Ticker
The YNaija Ticker
The YNaija Ticker
Domenico Gitto, the owner of Gitto Construzioni Generali Nigeria Limited, the company which donated the controversial Church to Otueke, President Jonathan’s home town in Bayelsa, is dead.
Mr. Gitto, PREMIUM TIMES learnt, died in Nigeria today in yet unclear circumstances.
Sources close to the Italian businessman however say he has been troubled for sometime owing to the huge debt piled up by his company in Nigerian banks.
“The company has been having legal battles with many Nigerian banks over failed debts it owes,” a source said.
Union bank, said to be the largest creditor of Gitto is owed N10billion naira and is reported to have seized some of the company’s heavy equipment it uses for construction.
Gitto is also said to owe Diamond bank N6billion naira, a matter which has led the bank taking the company to court.
A third bank, FCMB, had written to the Federal Ministry of Works asking that all money to be paid Gitto by the ministry be paid to the bank, over a N5billion debt owed it.
All the debt, PREMIUM TIMES learnt, are bad loans as the company has failed to meet its obligations to the banks involved.
- Premium Times
An Akure Chief Magistrates’ Court has remanded two officials of the State Security Service (SSS) in prison custody for alleged armed robbery.
The officials, Owolabi Kolawole, 25, and Okunola Kayode, 28, were arraigned before Chief Magistrate, Igbekele Akinyele, on a two-count charge of conspiracy and armed robbery.
They were said to have committed the offence with others now at large on June 14, 2012 at about 11.30 a.m. at UBA on Owo/Ado Road, Akure.
The police accused the two SSS operatives of robbing a car dealer, Peter Charles Denis of the sum of N480,000.
The offence, the police said, is contrary to and punishable under Section 402 (1) of the Criminal Code cap 30 Vol. II laws of Ondo State, 1978.
The accused pleaded not guilty.
Mr. Kolawole, however, told the court that they went to arrest the complainant, Mr. Denis, and he gave them N100,000 so that they would not take him to their office.
When asked by the court what the money was meant for, the accused persons said it was to lobby them not to take the complainant to SSS office; a suggestion the magistrate rejected saying taking the money amounted to bribe collection by the officials.Akinyele, however, told them that in legal parlance, what they did amounts to taking a bribe.
Police prosecutor, Pelumi Adejuwon, informed the court that he had four witnesses and urged the court to grant an adjournment to enable him to assemble them.
Counsel to the accused persons, Ilesanmi Ikuemenisan, urged the court to admit the accused persons to bail on liberal terms.
- Premium Times
The Nigerian government on Tuesday, denied that the bank accounts of its missions in the United States, had been shut by American officials over money laundering scare, days after President Goodluck Jonathan ordered an investigation.
News reports had it that bank accounts belonging to the Nigerian embassy in Washington, and the country’s United Nations mission in New York, had been frozen by Wells Fargo bank and Bank of America, after officials raised red flags on alleged money laundering by the Nigerian representatives.
The reports said as much as $3.5 million were transferred through the two accounts within a short period of time, prompting the American officials to act, aware that Nigerian officials had made use of similar channels in the past to launder public funds.
Mr. Jonathan during his televised media chat on Sunday, said that he had ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to verify the details he read in the news media.
But the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, denied the two missions owned accounts with the two American banks in the first place, and said the money laundering allegations are false.
“As far as we are concerned, all the stories about Wells Fargo are fiction,” the minister said when he addressed the House of Representatives committee on foreign affairs.
“I can tell you categorically that Nigeria and Nigerian missions do not have account with Wells Fargo, and you do not close what is not there,” he told the lawmakers.
Mr. Ashiru said details of the events had been mixed in the reports, and explained the accounts were closed with a merchant bank in response to the US government’s directive to all countries, not only Nigeria.
The order, which is derived from the US Patriot Act, is aimed at forestalling money laundering, and requires all foreign missions in the United States, particularly Africa, to close their bank accounts and open new ones which will be thoroughly scrutinized.
According to the Minister, the rigorous paperwork and time required for the new process prompted the countries to seek the intervention of the US State Department; but when that failed, the missions decided to put off the accounts.
Nigeria closed hers in March 2012, and opened a new account with City bank, the minister said.
“The US only asked the countries to come and close their accounts and open new ones; there was nothing directed at Nigeria,” he said.
- Premium Times
The Kano State Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Wednesday revealed that a police corporal and 10 gunmen were killed after a series of coordinated attacks on police formations in the state on Tuesday.
Mr. Idris in a statement read to journalists in his office said several locations including the Dala divisional headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force, the Jakara police barracks, Goron Dutse prison yard, 52 Squadron of the mobile police force, and a junior secondary school at Sabuwar Doka at Ungogo Local Government of the State were attacked by gunmen who hauled explosives and opened fire on the formations.
Mr. Idris however said the police killed 10 of the attackers, while a corporal also lost his life, adding that 3 of the attackers were arrested.
The police boss also said that quite a number of the attackers escaped with gunshot wounds while he appealed to members of the public to provide information to security agencies if they site anyone with gunshot wounds trying to get treatment in any pharmaceutical store.
- Premium Times
A legislation that would check indiscriminate procreation may be in the offing as President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, gave indication that government was considering the option of checking population explosion.
The President, who spoke at the swearing-in ceremony of the newly-appointed Chairman and Commissioners of the National Population Commission at the Presidential Villa, however, admitted that though regulating the country’s population through legislation is a very contentious matter, government cannot afford to remain aloof while the country’s population grew unchecked.
It would be recalled that the only time there was an attempt by government to control birth in the country was during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida when it was decreed that the maximum birth per woman is four children.
The policy, however, was largely unsuccessful because of widespread opposition against it from different spectrum of the society.
However, reiterating his commitment to the new policy, President Jonathan noted that Nigeria would not be the first country to make laws controlling population and religious belief should not be a tool to frustrate good policy.
YNaija citizen correspondents are reporting a series of explosions in Kano at the moment.
The suspected bombs are reported at the Goron Dutse Dala LG. Residents are said to be escaping the area.
We will monitor for updates.
A 25-year-old man, Adeyinka Adetayo, on Monday was arraigned before an Abeokuta Chief Magistrate’s Court for allegedly stabbing his friend to death. He faces a one count charge of murder.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) on Monday announced the suspension of all part-time programmes run by universities in the country.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Julius Okojie, also announced the results of accreditation of courses run by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
Okojie said the suspension of the part- time programmes was to enable the regulatory body “streamline” them.
He said the work of the universities’ regulatory body was becoming more difficult because of the “products of the system’’ and urged the institutions to cooperate with the NUC to evolve a more focused and credible system.
“For now all part time programmes have been suspended. We are going to streamline them.
“No university should have more than 20 percent of their student population on part-time with excess capacity to teach.
“All part time programmes must be located on campus. We do not want satellite campuses anymore,’’ he said.
The executive secretary said henceforth universities must score over 70 percent in all areas of assessment, including the provision of library facilities before it would be accredited.
“But if your library facilities are poor or sub- standard, even if you score over 70 percent, you will not be considered fit enough for accreditation,’’ he stated.
Okojie said that out of the 31 programmes evaluated for the NOUN, 30 were accredited.
He said that four programmes of the university were granted full accreditation, 26 others accredited on interim basis while one programme was denied accreditation.
Lonesome George, the last remaining tortoise of his kind and a conservation icon, died on Sunday of unknown causes, the Galapagos National Park said. He was thought to be about 100 years old.
Lonesome George was found in 1972 and had become a symbol of Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, which attracted some 180,000 visitors last year.
“This morning the park ranger in charge of looking after the tortoises found Lonesome George, his body was motionless,” the head of the Galapagos National Park, Edwin Naula, told Reuters. “His life cycle came to an end.”
George was believed to be around 100 years old and the last member of a species of giant tortoise from La Pinta, one of the smallest islands in the Galapagos, the Galapagos National Park said.
The giant Galapagos tortoises, which can live up to 200 years old, were among the species that helped Charles Darwin formulate his theory of evolution in the 19th century.
The Galapagos National Park is considering embalming George’s body so that it can be displayed in the park, Naula said.
A spokesperson said the park plans to carry out a necropsy to determine what may have killed the tortoise.
Scientists had been trying to get George to mate since 1993, when they introduced two female tortoises of a different subspecies into his pen. They laid eggs twice, but they were infertile.
The pen where George lived was visited by thousands of tourists every year, who often had to scramble with each other to take pictures of one of the rarest creatures on Earth.
The islands often attract celebrities, including Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt earlier this year.
Tortoises were hunted for their meat by sailors and fishermen to the point of extinction, while their habitat has been eaten away by goats introduced from the mainland.
Some 20,000 giant tortoises still live on the Galapagos
Paris police say that a 25-year-old man thwarted security measures and climbed the Eiffel Tower before jumping from the landmark to his death.
A police official says the man climbed the tower’s western pillar after it was closed to the public, and was approaching the third and highest level when rescue climbers made it to the scene. They tried to talk to him but he jumped instead, landed on the tower’s second floor and died soon after midnight Monday, the official said.
The official was not authorized to be publicly named because of police policy.
The tower was open as usual Monday after the incident. The company that manages the 324-meter tower says it was the first suicide on the tower in two years.
The man’s identity was not disclosed.