The YNaija Ticker
The YNaija Ticker
The YNaija Ticker
Bicycles, usually very rare on Jos roads, have surfaced on major highways due to the recent ban on the use of commercial motorcycles in the city.
Bicycles, in different shapes and sizes, now compete for space along many highways in the metropolis as residents move about conveying relations and friends. Before now, the bicycles were used mostly by school children, farmers and junior level workers.
Visits to the Ahmadu Bello Way and Terminus in central Jos where the bicycles are being sold have also revealed a rise in their cost.
A used bicycle in the area which usually sold for between N9,000 and N10,000 has now risen to between N13,000 and N14,000, depending on the manufacturing company.
At Nasarawa Gwom and Katako however a new bicycle now goes for N13,000 as against the old price of N10,000.
Jerry Gwani, a carpenter, said that he abandoned his bicycle three years ago when he bought a motorcycle.
“I stopped using my bicycle when I bought a motorcycle, but with the ban, I have returned to it since it is not banned.
“Usually it is the children that use it to run errands but I am back to it now,” he said.
A school girl, Anastasia Augustine, said that she had resorted to the bicycle because her father can no more convey her to school on his motor cycle.
“My father attempted to use it at the weekend but his motorcycle was almost seized. He told them he was not into commercial business but they said he would need to register and get a special permit,’’ she said.
The Plateau Government had banned the operations of commercial motorcyclists last week, two years after the first attempt resulted in riots in the city.
The Police Commissioner in the state, Emmanuel Ayeni, had on Friday in Jos told journalists that the ban is a total success and thanked members of the public for their cooperation.
Similarly, the Commissioner for Information, Yiljap Abraham, also described the ban as a “huge success” and said it was imposed to de-congest the roads and minimise threats to security.
A former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Timi Alaibe, has no plan to marry beauty queen and former Miss World, Agabani Darego, one of the politician’s aides has told PREMIUM TIMES
“I spoke to Timi last night and he is very embarrased by the speculations in the media,” the aide, who pleaded not to be named, said. “He has no such plan. His immediate concern for now is to raise his children and make them not to feel the absence of their mother who passed on over three years ago.”
The aide, who is a long time associate of the Bayelsa politician, said the continued speculation in the media over when and who he will marry had continued to cause Mr. Alaibe intense discomfort.
“Yesterday, it was his daughter who called his attention to the rumour on some online media. Just imagine how embarrasing that could be.
“There was also a time that Agbani called him to ask whether he (Alaibe) was making secret plans to marry her without her knowledge.”
The aide said the families of Mr. Alaibe and and Ms Darego are related and close and were shocked by the speculations.
“When his wife died, Mr. Alaibe said he won’t get married less than five years after her departure, and he is keeping to that. So, if he is going to marry, it is definitely not now.”
Mr. Alaibe’s wife, Alari, died in January 2009, and there have been speculations over who and when he would remarry.
Mr. Alaibe is currently in Loondon where he is visiting his daughters who are in school there.
Leila Neve was getting ready to say goodbye to her comatose daughter Charlotte when Adele’s hit song “Rolling in the Deep” came on the radio, and the seven-year-old suddenly began smiling.
Charlotte suffered a hemorrhage in mid-April, and had been in a coma since. Doctors managed to prolong her life with surgery, but did not expect her to survive much longer. After a series of strokes reduced Charlotte’s chances of survival even further, her family was advised to prepare for the worst.
Ms. Neve had just climbed into Charlotte’s hospital bed for a final cuddle when the radio started playing Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” The two would often sing the song together, so Ms. Neve did just that.
“Charlotte started smiling and I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It was the first time she had reacted to anything since the hemorrhage. The nurses were astounded and told me to keep singing, and she smiled again.”
Two days later, Charlotte was speaking; two months later, she was back in school.
“Charlotte has been brilliant,” her mother says. “She is so determined and brave. The doctors have stopped telling us what she should be able to do – because she has amazed them so much.”
American golfer Webb Simpson made a furious charge Sunday to win the U.S. Open, grabbing his fist major tournament victory.
Simpson had started the day four shots back off the lead but carded four birdies in five holes midway through the final round to get to the top of the leaderboard.
It gave the U.S. a third successive major win following Bubba Watson’s maiden triumph at the Masters in April and Keegan Bradley at last year’s PGA Championship.
Simpson shot two-under-par 68 Sunday to end the tournament at one-over 281 for the four rounds.
That score was good enough to win as all the golfers struggled on the slick greens of San Francisco’s Olympic Club and no one scored under par.
“It was a cool day. I had peace all day,” said the 26-year-old Webb, who has won two other PGA Tour events. “I prayed more the last three holes than I did all my life.
“I had no experience in major championships of contention at all, so for me to play Sunday fourth from the last group was probably an huge help, as opposed to the last group.
I have gained utmost respect for all the guys who have won multiple majors, because it is just so hard to do. The level of pressure is so much greater than a regular event.”
Former U.S. Open champions Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell were tied for the lead coming into play Sunday.
McDowell stumbled early in the final round but Furyk held the lead for most of day.
Furyk, who had held the lead from Friday afternoon, was unable to withstand Simpson’s great play.
But still on the last hole, both McDowell and Furyk were just one shot behind Simpson.
Both had to get birdies to catch Simpson and tie the tournament, setting up a dramatic ending.
Furyk, the 2003 winner, buried his second shot in a bunker dashing his chances.
McDowell — who claimed his first major at Pebble Beach in 2010 — played better but still missed a 24-foot birdie putt, to end his hopes.
Tiger Woods continued his fall Sunday as he failed in his bid for his fourth U.S. Open title and his first major since winning at Torrey Pines in 2008. Woods was tied with Furyk and David Toms for the halfway lead going into play Saturday at one under par.
But his play faded and on Sunday the 14-time major champion ended the tournament in a tie for 21st place, dropping four shots in the first three holes of his final round as he eventually signed for a 73.
“I was just a touch off, ” said Woods, who was six shots behind Simpson. “Today, I got off to a horrific start and just never got it going. But there are a lot of positives that can be taken from this week.”
Microsoft has unveiled Surface – its own-brand family of tablets.
The touchscreen computers will be powered by its upcoming Windows 8 system and contain a choice of an Intel or ARM-based processor.
It allows the firm to challenge Apple’s bestselling iPad with a device that can run standard applications such as its own Office programs and Photoshop.
But it puts Microsoft in competition with other manufacturers planning to release tablets designed for Windows 8.
The company’s chief executive, Steve Ballmer, said he had wanted to give the software “its own companion hardware”.
The devices have 10.6 inch (26.9cm) displays, built-in kickstands and are housed in magnesium cases – which the company described as the first of their kind.
The ARM-based tablets are 9.3mm (0.4 inches) thick – slightly less than the iPad – and run the Windows RT version of the new system. The Verge reported that the chipset will be built by Nvidia.
The versions using Intel’s x86 technology run Windows 8 Pro and are 13.5mm (0.5 inches) thick.
The specifications mean the Surface tablets have bigger screens than the iPad but are heavier.
A variety of accompanying covers can be attached using built-in magnets. They double as keyboards with trackpads. One version is flat while the other offers keys that can be depressed.
The ARM-based version will be available with either 32GB (gigabytes) or 64GB of storage. Microsoft said they would be priced at a similar rate to other tablets using the same type of processor built by other firms.
It added that the Intel-based versions would be offered with either 64GB or 128GB of storage and would have price tags comparable to ultrabook laptops.
Fast-forward two years and there is no question there is demand for such devices.
Tech research firm IDC recently forecast 107.4 million tablets would be shipped this year with the number growing to 222.1 million by 2016.
It expects Apple’s iPad to account for about 62.5% of the market this year with Android devices such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire taking a 36.5% share.
IDC does not yet include Windows-based tablets in its market forecasts, but plans to start doing so from July.
It says it does not necessarily believe Windows-based tablets like the Surface will take marketshare from Apple and Android, but says they should grow the overall market for such products.
One tech analyst told the BBC that other hardware makers were likely to feel aggrieved by the news.
“Microsoft can offer a competitive price for these specifications as it doesn’t need to pay itself a licence for the Windows 8 software which other manufacturers will have to do, and that might make its PC and tablet-making partners unhappy,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at the technology consultants Gartner.
She added that the firm appeared to have focused on a specific part of the market which wanted a more powerful device than the iPad.
“They seem to be be targeting a professional audience,” she said.
“So they are going head-to-head with Apple within the corporate sector. Price will be key – these devices won’t be at the bottom end of the market. They will probably let other manufacturers fight over that space.”
By contrast the tech research firm Forrester said it thought the focus for ARM-based Surface tablets would be consumers, rather than the enterprise sector.
But one of its analysts warned there was a risk customers would shy away if they found it confusing distinguishing between the two types of Windows 8 experience. This will be the first time Microsoft will offer a version of its PC system designed for chips based on ARM’s architecture.
“Consumers aren’t used to thinking about chipsets. Choice is a key tenet of Windows, but too much choice is overwhelming for consumers. Apple gets this, and limits iPad options to connectivity, storage, and black… or white.”
Despite the potential for confusion, British chip designer ARM said it was “excited” by the news.
The firm’s designs have already proved popular with smartphone makers, but Microsoft’s support for its technology in Windows 8 offers it the potential to expand into a market dominated until now by Intel and AMD.
“This represents a significant milestone in Microsoft’s journey to expand the support of the Windows operating system and embrace the ARM architecture,” said Lance Howarth, the firm’s vice president of marketing.
“With the Surface for Windows RT announcement we are delighted to see yet another example of this partnership in action which follows on from various Windows RT devices demonstrated at Taiwan’s Computex show recently.”
Intel could not be reached for comment.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has arrested the Managing Director of Air Nigeria, Kinfe Kayssay, for alleged failure to remit about N4.9billion tax revenues due to the Federal Government.
The arrest of Mr. Kayssay is in pursuit of the drive by the tax Service to recover over N170.I billion outstanding taxes owed government by various public and private organisations as well as ensure that all taxpayers are captured in the tax net, the tax agency says.
Last May, the chief executive officers of seven Lagos-based engineering, telecommunications, cable television, and trading conglomerates were arrested over similar offences involving tax evasion totalling N2.17billion.
Pivot Engineering Limited, an Ikeja-based power engineering subsidiary of the Honeywell Group largely owned by Oba Otudeko, was allegedly owing about N610million; UTC Nigeria Plc, a leading processor and marketer of baked goods (about N278million), and John Holt Nigeria Limited, one of Nigeria’s leading assembly conglomerate and trading companies (about N33million).
The others were HITV Limited, one of Nigeria’s leading cable television firm (N310million); Sweet Sensation Confectionery Limited, one of Nigeria’s fast food chain (N156million), Reliance Telecommunications Limited (N593million) and Entertainment Highway Limited, N196million
The arrests were as a result of the tax enforcement drive by the Debt Enforcement and Special Prosecution Unit (DESPU) of the Service aimed at recovering arrears of taxes due to government from Withholding Tax (WHT) and Value Added Tax (VAT).
Air Nigeria was also accused of failure to file its annual tax returns for 2011 as and when due, while the one for 2012 is still pending, contrary to Section 31 of the VAT Act No. 12 of 2007.
The law provides that: “A taxable person who fails to submit returns to the Board is liable to a fine of N5,000 for every month in which the failure continues.”
During investigations, the FIRS team reportedly found out that the airline, largely owned by Jimoh Ibrahim, committed serial criminal offences by accumulating tax liabilities and refusing to deduct and remit taxes from its workers, failure to file tax returns as well as refusal to obtain Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC), which is a prime requirement for expatriate quota approval.
Mr. Kayssay, who was said to have agreed that Air Nigeria actually had outstanding tax liabilities to pay, pleaded for time to settle them, while taking steps to comply with the necessary legal procedures for filing tax returns.
Mr. Kayssay’s arrest followed series of demand notices served on the company to settle its outstanding tax liabilities as well as comply with their tax obligations as specified by country’s tax laws, failure which would earn its officials punitive actions.
Air Nigeria’s spokesperson, Samuel Ogbogoro, requested for time to comment on the development.
FIRS Director, Communications & Liaison Department, Emmanuel Obeta, said the arrests of tax defaulters by the agency would continue, warning other organisations and individuals to ensure that all deductions from their workers’ pay are promptly remitted to the appropriate agencies in fulfilment of their tax obligations as provided by Part V1, Section 40 of the FIRS Establishment Act 2007.
“Any person who, being obliged to deduct any tax under this Act, or the laws listed in the First Schedule to this Act, but fails to deduct, or having deducted, fails to pay to the Service within 30 days from the date the amount was deducted, or the time the duty to deduct arose, commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to pay the tax withheld or not remitted in addition to a penalty of 10 per cent of the tax withheld, or not remitted per annum, and interest at the prevailing Central Bank of Nigeria minimum re-discount rate and imprisonment for period of not more than three years,’’ Mr. Obeta said.
PREMIUM TIMES could not ascertain how many of these arrested officers have actually been arraigned before the court for these offences as well as how much has so far been recovered at the end of the process.
When we put the question to Mr. Obeta, he requested for time for a detailed response to the enquiry.
Bobby Brown plans to wed his longtime fiancé today in Hawaii, the R&B star and ex-husband of Whitney Houston told a crowd at a New Edition concert Sunday night. But it’s unclear whether the former couple’s only daughter, Bobbi Kristina, will attend.
Bobby Brown, 43, told the audience at New Edition’s Father’s Day show at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu that he plans to wed girlfriend Alicia Etheridge today, according to the Star Advertiser. At the concert, LaPrincia Brown and Bobby Brown Jr., two of the “My Prerogative” singer’s children from a relationship previous to his with Houston, came onstage at the concert, along with Etheridge.
But Bobbi Kristina’s absence at Sunday’s concert led to speculation that the 19-year-old will not be in attendance at the nuptials. It’s believed that Bobbi Kristina, Houston’s only daughter who was frequently by her side, will remain in New York to tape her upcoming reality-TV series for the Lifetime network.
Bobby Brown and Bobbi Kristina’s reportedly rocky relationship came into the spotlight in the wake of Houston’s drowning death in February, amid speculation that the father and daughter were on shaky ground and Bobbi Kristina reportedly wanted to change her name to cut ties with her dad.
But Us Weekly reported in April that the father and daughter were spotted dining at New York City’s Blue Fin along with Etheridge. A source said that Bobbi Kristina was texting on her phone throughout the meal and “didn’t seem too thrilled to be there.”
Bobbi Kristina has been under the microscope since her mother’s death. Rumors have swirled around the famous daughter, including talk that she has been struggling with drug use and that she became engaged to Nick Gordon, who had been informally adopted by Whitney Houston when he was a youngster.
Bobby Brown has also made headlines since Houston’s death after e was arrested in March and charged with driving under the influence in Los Angeles.
A 60 year old man alleged to be a homosexual was lynched by angry mob in Yelwa Ward in Yola.
The 60 year old man was suspected to have subjected a 20 year old boy to indecent acts for years, which has left him with a strange sickness.
The deceased identified as Hassan Buba, a resident of Yelwa Ward in Yola North Local Government, according to sources, admitted of having canal knowledge of his victim for over four years.
Eyewitness account disclosed to Vanguard in Yola that the Late Hassan Buba met his untimely death when his victim confessed to his parents that his unending ailment was as a result sexual encounter with the old man.
It was at this junction that the deceased was invited to the victim’s family house where he admitted to having long standing sexual relationship with the boy.
The deceased equally confessed to using supernatural means to lure the boy into the act and to prevent him from exposing the act.
Piqued by the shocking revelations, the father of the boy identified as Shuaibu alongside irate youths pounced on the confessed homosexual.
He was beaten to a state of coma and abandoned by the roadside close to where the incident happened.
Police from the Jimeta Division headquarter took the suspect homosexual to the Yola Specialist Hospital where he died before medical attention was administered on him.
Adamawa State police Command Spokesman Nemuel Yoila (ASP) confirmed the incident, but, he however disclosed that the matter has not yet been officially reported to the headquarters from the Divisional Headquarters.
Researchers in Singapore have discovered a potential new treatment that may bring some hope for cancer patients with a highly aggressive form of lymphoma.
The compound involved is already being tested on a different illness – to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Xinhua reports.
It has been screened for safety, and so the trial process for the patients suffering from the cancer in question – NK/T-cell lymphoma – can be cut short.
“We are now planning to start clinical trials for patients,” Prof. Teh Bin Tean from the National Cancer Centre in Singapore was quoted by The Straits Times as saying.
“In a best-case scenario, the drug could be available for treatment within five years,” he said.
Lymphoma is cancer that begins in the immune system. It is the fifth and sixth most common cancer in men and women respectively, with the NCCS seeing more than 300 cases a year.
NK/T-cell lymphoma, which is rare among Caucasians, is more prevalent in Asian populations.
Teh, who is director and principal investigator at the NCCS- Vari, Van Andel Research Institute, Translational Research Laboratory in the centre, hopes to start such a trial with around 25 patients in a year or two.
“I am hopeful that we might have found a molecular target for the treatment of at least some patients with this otherwise-fatal disease,” he added.
In 2010, a team of more than 20 local doctors and researchers with expertise in cancer, genomics, pathology and bioinformatics came together to study it.
A member of the group, Associate Professor Tan Soo Yong, who is a senior consultant at the Singapore General Hospital’s Pathology Department and director of the SingHealth Tissue Repository, said, “We could not have done it without the collaboration of experts from different fields.
“Research nowadays can’t be done by individuals in a particular specialty.”
The group sequenced all the genes in several patients’ NK/T- cell lymphoma cells, and compared them with samples from more than 60 patients.
They identified mutations in the Janus kinase 3 (JAK3) gene that seemed to have a major role in driving the cancer in a significant number of patients.
“We call it gene addiction because the cancer cells are relying on the mutation for their survival,” explained Teh.
A drug that targets the mutant protein has already been shown to cause such lymphoma cell lines to “commit suicide” in the laboratory.
Last Friday, the team’s work was published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Business mongul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, will tomorrow take over as the President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), following the ruling of the Court of Appeal in Lagos last Friday upholding his three appeals against cases that led to the nullification of his election as president of the exchange.
Dangote was elected the 17th president of the NSE in August 2009.
Announcing Dangote’s election, the then Director-General of the NSE, Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, had said he was elected based on a unanimous acclamation by the council members immediately after the conclusion of its 48th annual general meeting.
However, Dangote’s election was nullified by the Federal High Court in Lagos in March 2010 following the application made to the court by some shareholders of African Petroleum Plc (now Forte Oil Plc), who had sued him, Nova Finance and Securities Limited, NSE and others, over alleged manipulation of AP shares.
But Dangote challenged the suit and filed appeals which were upheld by the Appeal Court presided over by Justice Helen Ogunwumiju last Friday.
Delivering judgement on the appeal filed against the August 4, 2009 status order, the court set aside the judgement of Justice Mohamad Liman, saying a status order is like an injunction and the conditions for granting an injunction must exist.
The court emphasised that there was no identifiable reason or urgency to warrant the order of status quo to be made. Accordingly, the order was set aside as it was wrongly made.
The second ruling was on the challenge to the Justice Lambo Akanbi ruling of March 12, 2010 nullifying the election. The court relied on its earlier judgement to set aside the order on the grounds that since the status quo order allegedly breached should not have been made, there was no question of it being breached.
The third judgement was on the appeal challenging the contempt proceedings and the bench warrant issued against Dangote on July 22, 2010. The whole proceeding was also set aside as having been conducted in error on the grounds that the very order leading to the contempt proceeding was invalid.
Reacting to the judgement, Dangote informed THISDAY Sunday that he was very happy with the ruling, as it had vindicated his position all along that he should not have been removed as president of the stock exchange’s council.
He said his first priority would be to continue with the reforms started by the present NSE director-general, Oscar Onyema, improve governance and transparency, and restore confidence in the market.
“You know the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had been running the NSE like it was an agency of government. But the stock exchange is a private exchange limited by guaranty.
“So, I will be meeting the SEC appointees on the council of the stock exchange on Tuesday and taking over that day,” he said.
Dangote added that a new council for the stock exchange with him as its president would be reconstituted next week and that the slots allotted to stockbroker members on the council would be increased from four to six.
Also commenting on the court judgements, one of Dangote’s lawyers, Mrs. Folashade Sowemimo, said they had been vindicated by the rulings, adding that the rulings had reaffirmed her belief in the country’s judicial process.
“In 2010 when his election was nullified by the Federal High Court, we had said he would appeal and that Alhaji Aliko Dangote believes in the judicial system and he would eventually be vindicated.
“You can see that at the end of the day, we have been vindicated. I am happy with the judgement of the Court of Appeal. What has happened has simply reaffirmed my belief in the country’s judicial process,” she said.
With the reinstatement of Dangote, he will take over from Mallam Ballama Manu, who has been the interim president of the council since August 5, 2010 when SEC intervened in the running of exchange.
Prior to his election in 2009, Dangote was the council’s first vice-president. He joined the council in February 2008, as the chairman, Kaduna/Kano/Yola Zonal Council.
- This Day