The YNaija Ticker
The YNaija Ticker
The YNaija Ticker
The former editor of THISDAY newspaper, Simon Kolawole, will continue to write his Sunday column and serve on the editorial board of the newspaper on part time basis.
Furious about his spontaneous reassignment from the position of Editor to Editorial Director, Mr. Kolawole resigned from the paper last Saturday.
Earlier that day, THISDAY publisher, Nduka Obaigbena called the board of directors to an impromptu meeting and announced the reshuffling of top editorial positions in the paper.
The same Mr. Obaigbena had in June 2010 appointed Mr. Kolawole for a fresh three-year tenure which was supposed to expire in June 2013.
But the THISDAY publisher denied knowledge of that appointment, saying Mr. Kolawole’s tenure had since expired.
After his removal was announced, the editor turned in his resignation telling colleagues he could not accept to be so shabbily treated after serving the newspaper diligently for about 10 years.
According to a source at the company, “he felt that the company should have had a conversation with him if there was a need to cut short his tenure.”
The publisher of the paper on Sunday told PREMIUM TIMES that he had accepted Mr. Kolawole resignation in good fate.
“He is free to pursue other interests. There is no quarrel, there is no problem,” Mr. Obaigbena said.
And as the paper’s publisher advised, Mr. Kolawole told his associates he would go on to pursue other interests.
“This is to officially inform you that I have resigned my appointment with THISDAY to pursue my other interests,” Mr. Kolawole said in a text message he sent to friends and associates. “I will however continue to write my Sunday column and serve on the newspaper’s editorial board on a part time basis.”
Insiders in the company said there had been reconciliatory moves between the THISDAY publisher and Mr. Kolawole in the past few days.
To pacify Mr. Kolawole, Mr. Obaigbena reportedly asked his former editor to go away with a brand new Audi official car given to him about a month ago “without paying a kobo to the company.”
Yvette Wilson, the comic actress best known for her role in sitcom Moesha and its spinoff The Parkers, has died of cervical cancer aged 48.
The news was confirmed by the actress’s close friend Jeffrey Pittle.
Wilson had been suffering for some time with stage 4 cervical cancer and in recent years had battled kidney failure and undergone kidney transplants.
The former stand-up comedian shot to fame as Andell Wilkerson on Moesha and continued playing the character on The Parkers.
Her Moesha co-star Shar Jackson was the first of the cast’s show to tweet her reaction to Wilson’s untimely passing.
‘F*** Cancer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” she wrote in the first of a series of tweets, adding, “Oh god…..My heart is soooo unbelievably broken….’
Shar later tweeted: ‘I wanna thank all my tweeties for their prayers but god has chosen to take my sister Yvette home.’
Pittle told E! News: ‘Unfortunately I can verify Yvette’s passing yesterday. She was a good friend, a talented actress and a very funny lady, both onscreen and off.
Other appearances followed in films House Party 2, House Party 3, Friday and on TV for Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam.
Ray actor Jamie Foxx tweeted: ‘God bless u Yvette Wilson. Tears in my eyes. Keep God laughing.’
‘R.I.P Yvette Wilson (Andell From The Parkers). She recently lost her battle with cancer. Life is short, so cherish yours,’ said Fugees singer Lauryn Hill.
Reports said her prolonged illness had put the comic actress under heavy financial strain. Friend that Pittle launched a website on GiveForward.com on her behalf, which raised more than $13,000 in donations to help cover the costs of her treatment.
Source: Daily Mail
The Nigeria Air Force has completed its International Helicopter Flying School in Enugu and may inaugurate it in July, an official has said.
The Chief of Air Staff, Mohammed Umar, made the announcement during a courtesy visit to Governor Sullivan Chime at the Government House in Enugu on Thursday.
“Your Excellency, you will recall that sometime in 2010, we were here in Enugu when the Nigeria Air Force brought the idea of establishing an international helicopter flying school here in Enugu.
“Since then, we have put plans in motion to realise that dream. I am very delighted to inform you that the dream is gradually coming to pass. We hope and pray that the school will take off on July 23, 2012.
“That is why I am here personally to come and inspect the level of progress of work in the school. I am very glad to inform you that more than 90 per cent of the project has been completed,” the air force boss said.
He said that although the force is experiencing some challenges in the cause of the inauguration, it would ensure the total completion before the date of the opening.
The air chief assured the governor that the school is ready to give the state the deserved exposure to the international community.
Responding, Mr. Chime expressed delight that the air force is being fortified in the state.
He pledged the support of the state government toward ensuring the success of the project and the allocation of a befitting office site to the force in the state.
“I am happy that the air force is re-establishing itself here in Enugu. We will do everything possible to keep you here in Enugu, anything that will make your stay here more comfortable,” the governor said.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has ordered the Federal Government, its agents totally hands-off the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), Lagos, operated by Bi-Courtney Limited, which built the terminal on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT).
In a unanimous judgment, the three-man panel led by Justice Zainab Bukachuwa, said the government did not transmit the record of the trial (at the lower court) within 30 days, if a court registrar failed to do so within the first 60 days after delivery of judgment, adding that “the applicant (Federal Government) is entitled to ask for an extension of time after the 90 days which, the applicant did not do.
“It is not an optional duty; the rule of the court must be obeyed because it is mandatory.”
The Federal Government had appealed against the judgment of Justice Anwuli Chikere of an Abuja High Court, delivered on March 3, 2009, which ordered it to stop the operations of domestic flights in or out of Lagos from any other airport other than MMA2, except if such airport is owned by Bi-Courtney Limited.
Besides, Justice Chikere also stopped the Federal Government from building any other airport terminal in Lagos, while ordering it to account for all the revenues it had collected from domestic flight operations in Lagos outside MMA2 since the new terminal became operational on May 7, 2007.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, the Federal Government, however, headed to the appellate court, where it lost out on Wednesday to Bi Courtney Limited which according the existing controversial agreement duly signed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) would operate the terminal for 36 years.
Counsel to Bi-Courtney, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), had argued that the government appealed the trial court judgment on the excuse that the AGF failed to compile and transmit the trial court record as required by the Appeal Court rules, asking the appellate court to throw out the appeal.
Justice Bukachawa, in dismissing the appeal, added: “When the rules of the court are specifically spelt out, the parties have no other duty than to comply with such rules. Besides, there was no application for an extension of time by the appellant.
“The notice of appeal was filed in June 2009; the Registrar by the rules of this court has 60 days within which to transmit the records of appeal. Rules of court are made to be obeyed and when there is no compliance, the court would have no choice than to dismiss the appeal.
“This appeal is hereby dismissed with no cost awarded to both sides. I make no order as to cost.”
Bi-Courtney Limited had dragged the Federal Government to court for his failure to implement a concession agreement entered into over MMA2 on April 24, 2003.
The concession agreement says that all airlines operating scheduled domestic flights in and out of Lagos must operate from MMA2.
The agreement also says that within the concession period of 36 years effective 2003, Bi-Courtney must collect all levies and charges from scheduled domestic flights in and out of Lagos.
The concessioning came about after the old Local Airport was gutted by fire in 2001, which totally destroyed it, leaving the Federal Government with no option than to close it down.
The government consequently signed a concession agreement with Bi-Courtney on April 24, 2003 to design, build and operate MMA2 and any other terminal in Lagos for 36 years for the firm to recoup its investment.
UNITED States (U.S.) President, Barack Obama, yesterday unveiled a sweeping new Africa strategy, declaring that the continent torn by poverty, corruption and discord could be the world’s next big economic success story.
The new U.S. blueprint seeks to boost trade, strengthen peace, security and good governance and bolster democratic institutions, and is designed to help Africa’s increasingly youthful population lead its development.
“As we look toward the future, it is clear that Africa is more important than ever to the security and prosperity of the international community, and to the U.S. in particular,” Obama said.
The plan was unveiled nearly three years after Obama, whose father was a Kenyan, laid out his priorities for the often crisis-scarred continent in Ghana, on the sole trip of his presidency so far to sub-Saharan Africa.
It comes as Washington, tooling a foreign policy towards trade and development, also views Africa’s intractable conflicts with concern, including in areas ripe for extremists to exploit, like Somalia and Mali.
However, the new blue-print has received mixed reactions from foreign affairs analysts in Nigeria.
To Prof. Charles Dokunbo, a senior research fellow with Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), the U.S. and other Western nations should fulfill their old promises to the continent and its people rather than coming up with new ones.
Dokunbo also counselled African countries not to rely on America because of stringent strings attached to such assistance like counterpart funds, wondering why Africa must continue to beg to enjoy assistance from countries like the U.S.
He also reminded Africans that this is an election year for Obama and he needs the support of African-Americans.
According to him, the new blue-print may also be seen as a strategy to lobby for their vote to show that he is responding to the need of African continent.
But to Prof. Osita Agbu of the same NIIA, the U.S. is being practical if it decided to help Africa in the area of maintaining peace and security, boosting trade and making sure the youths of the continent who are facing serious unemployment lead the development of the continent.
He said terrorism is a global threat and Nigeria just like any other country on the continent is facing security threat of Boko Haram and the problem of youth unemployment. He reasoned that the youths, if not engaged, may end up becoming tools for militants and terrorists.
Agbu hoped that the Federal Government and other African countries would key into the plan.
The Washington Post reported yesterday that the U.S. military was expanding spying across Africa, using small private planes operating from isolated bush airstrips, as part of a “shadow war’ against Al-Qaeda and affiliates.
Meanwhile, Africa’s marginal position on the global stage has created a necessity for stronger ties within the continent so it could play a part in global capitalism.
Also, the need to restructure the system of governance in Nigeria so that the country could play the lead role in Africa’s march to a brighter future cannot be over-emphasized.
These formed the fulcrum of submissions made yesterday at the second Panafest Colloquium and Exhibition 2012 at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.
In his keynote address at the event, Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola argued that Africa’s long marginalisation index that started with slave trade through colonialism and imperialism was being further entrenched through globalisation.
He noted: “As things are, Africa is delinked from the world in many respects, more importantly in economic terms, which means it is largely disconnected from the many benefits that accrue from the process of economic globalisation”.
Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku, while commending the vision that informed Panafest, restated the historical relevance of Africa as the cradle of the world in spite of its manifest under-development.
He stressed the imperatives of regional integration and the historic role Nigeria could play in such process.
Anyaoku stated that it was not late for Nigeria to realise the vision of its founding fathers, but faulted Nigeria’s existing structure of governance and incapability of making the country realise true greatness.
He declared: “We need true federalism. The kind of federalism we practise cannot develop this country the way we want it. We must go back to its former six units.”
The U.S. surveillance is being carried out by small, unmarked turboprop planes with hidden state-of-the-art sensors that fly thousands of kilometres between air bases and bush landing strips across the vast continent, it said.
The programme, dating back to 2007, underscores the massive expansion of U.S. special forces operations in recent years and the steady militarisation of intelligence operations during the decade-long war on al-Qaeda.
The Post said there were plans to open another base in South Sudan to help hunt for Kony, who is wanted in connection with a series of atrocities and operates in some of the most remote and inaccessible parts of Central Africa.
In East Africa, U.S. aircraft operating out of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and the Seychelles archipelago spy on Somalia’s Qaeda-inspired Al-Shebab militia and have reportedly launched attacks on wanted militants.
The Post said the fleet of surveillance planes is made up of single-engine Pilatus PC-12s, small passenger and cargo planes manufactured in Switzerland.
Also, according to a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, the new strategy encompasses changes in the way America would now relate with sub-Saharan Africa in the area of peace and security and the strengthening of democratic institutions.
The strategy also intends to spur economic growth, trade and investment as well as promote opportunity and development on the continent.
The new strategy, the White House stated, “provides a proactive and forward-looking vision grounded in partnership. The new strategy sets forth four strategic objectives as described below, and commits the U.S. to elevate its efforts on the first two of these four pillars: Strengthening democratic institutions and spurring economic growth, trade and investment.”
On strengthening democratic institutions, it said: “The new strategy commits the U.S. to working to advance democracy by strengthening institutions at every level, supporting and building upon the aspirations throughout the continent for more open and accountable governance, promoting human rights and the rule of law, and challenging leaders whose actions threaten the credibility of democratic processes. As the President said in Ghana, Africa does not need strong men, it needs strong institutions.”
With regards to spurring economic growth, trade, and investment, it said: “ Through greater focus, engagement, and the deployment of additional resources, the new strategy commits the U.S. to working to promote economic growth, including through increased trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The U.S. will promote an enabling environment for trade and investment; improve economic governance; promote regional integration; expand African capacity to effectively access and benefit from global markets; and encourage U.S. companies to trade with and invest in Africa.”
Plans are on to have top names in the entertainment industry to be faces of Nigeria at the forthcoming 2012 Olympic Games. It is part of the Nigeria Sports and Entertainment Village being established at the event holding in London from end of July to August. According to the promoters of the village, screen divas such as Bimbo Akintola, Chidi Mokeme, Yomi Fash-Lanso, Shan George and Tonto Dike are among those to be at the forum to be explored to launder Nigeria’s image abroad.
In the forefront of this effort is Ideas Warehouse and Heartlink Group, which was also involved in similar attempts at the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa , establishing the Naija Entertainment Village. Heartlink was involved in Miss Gateway Games Beauty Pageant in 2005. It was also the Nigerian Partner for Ghana-Nigeria Business Summits, Benin-Nigeria 1st Economic Summit and initiator of Corporate Nigeria Stakeholders’ Forum.
According to the Head Consultant of the group, Mrs Kemi Otegbade, considering the calibre of the people who would be in London for the Olympics, NISEV provides a good platform to reposition Nigeria’s battered image in the eyes of the world. On the list of the village’s programmes are government officials’ interface with their indigenes in the Diaspora, concerts, economic forum, food exhibition, an awards night and a beauty pageant.
A local Swedish politician wants to require all men to sit down whenever they use the toilets in a county council building, to keep them clean and promote good health, a councillor said Thursday.
Viggo Hansen, a member of the Left Party, submitted the proposal to the Soermland County Council in central Sweden earlier this week.
In Sweden, where daycare centres encourage little boys to “be a sweetie and take a seatie”, the issue is not being taken lightly.
In an interview with a local television channel, Hansen pointed out that according to some experts sitting down to urinate is not only more hygienic but also reduces the risk of prostate trouble.
His proposal also claims that relieving oneself while seated “contributes to a better and longer sex life.”
Critics suggest it may be difficult to enforce the rule, which the council has one year to study before reaching a decision, according to the head of the Left Party group, Maud Ekman.
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday June 14th 2012, arraigned Mr. Adegboye London and Mr. Sylvanus Benedict before Justice Idris Kutigi of FCT High Court sitting in Bwari, Abuja, on a two count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust and fraudulent conversion of funds.
Before taking their plea, the prosecution counsel, Gift Odibo sought the court’s consent to file a motion on notice to amend a two count charge filed earlier in the court which was granted. The accused persons pleaded not guilty to both charges when it was read to them.
The prosecution consequently asked for a date for the commencement of trial. But counsel to the accused persons, Mr. J.A. Ako, informed the court that he had filed a motion for bail; but the prosecution counsel, Odibo objected to the application on the ground that she was only served the motion in the court. She added that she cannot respond orally and will need time to prepare a written response to the bail application.
While adjourning the matter to June 19th, 2012 for hearing of the bail application, Justice Kutigi ordered that the suspects be remanded in EFCC custody.
The accused persons, who are chairman and secretary respectively of Mbatoo Co-operative Society, were arrested following a petition from the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
The petitioner claims that the accused persons fraudulently diverted a grant of N4, 826,850 owarded from the N120m World Bank/IDA loan. The facility was part of the $10m micro grant programme designed as a poverty alleviation scheme for Artisanal and Small Scale miners and Mining Communities.
According to the petition, the accused persons were given the N4, 826,850 for the procurement of Atlas copco XAS 47 Air Compressor, Jack hammer with accessories and Diaphragm water pump, but fraudulently converted the grant for other purposes.
Count one of the two count charge reads: “That you Adeboyega London and Sylvanus Benedict being the Chairman and Secretary of Mbatoo Co-operative Society on or about 9th of December 200, at Abuja in the Abuja judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, did conspire to commit an offence punishable under section 97(2) of the Penal Code Act cap 532 laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 2004”.
Gunmen who kidnapped a cousin to the Governor of Delta State, 75-year-old Sam Uduaghan, on Thursday demanded N50m before his release.
The kidnappers had struck on a day the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, was receiving patrol vehicles purchased by the state government in Asaba.
Our correspondent learnt that the kidnappers had already contacted the family to immediately pay the sum or risk the consequences.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Charles Muka, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who confirmed the development, however said the police were against the payment of ransom to suspected criminals.
But Emmanuel Uduaghan, the victim’s son who bears the same name as the governor, denied that the kidnappers ever got in contact with the family .
However, it was gathered that the family’s position was to avoid any situation that would compromise the safe return of the septuagenarian.
“None of my family members has spoken with the kidnappers. We have not spoken with our father too, so the demand of N50m ransoms is not true,” the victim’s son said.
- The Punch
A Lagos State Coroner in Alimosho District, Mr. O.A Komolafe, will on Monday commence an inquest into the Dana air crash which killed about 163 persons in Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State on June 3, 2012.
The Lagos State Chief Coroner, Justice Lateefat Okunnu, had asked Komolafe to take up the inquest into the crash following the request she received from the law firm of a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana.
The inquest is to take place in the Magistrate’s court in Abule-Egba.
Komolafe, in the hearing notice issued on Wednesday, welcomed application for postponement of the hearing from any party in the inquest, but added that such application must be accompanied with proofs.
The hearing notice read in part, “If either party desires to postpone the hearing, they must apply to the court as soon as possible for that purpose and if the application is based on any matter of fact, be prepared to file proof of these.”
In his request dated June 5, 2012, Falana had alleged that the aircraft was allowed to fly despite being faulty.
- The Punch