The YNaija Ticker
The YNaija Ticker
The YNaija Ticker
THE University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin has recorded a medical feat with its maiden successful total knee cap replacement (artificial knee joint operation) in the treatment of arthritis of the knee joint.
With the already existing total hip replacement programme, the tertiary health facility is now capable of replacing both knee and hips when indicated. The feat was performed on May 31, 2012.
Disclosing this yesterday in Benin at a press conference, the Chief Medical Director of UBTH, Dr. Michael Ibadin, said the surgery was performed “by a primary team of four orthopedic surgeons, two anesthetists and a peri-operative nurse led by Dr. E. Ugbeye, a consultant to Smith and Nephew in Nigeria.
“The team, which is wholly based in Nigeria also included Dr. D. A. Ogbemudia, Dr. A. Bafor, Dr. P. Oyakilome, Dr. I. J. ISA, Dr. Akpoduado and Mrs. P. O. Aikabeli.
Ibadin added that, “the early outcome shows relief of pain and correction of deformity. The hospital plans to continue the procedure every six to eight weeks for the first one year and thereafter every fortnight.
Determined to unravel the sources and application of funds collected by a private consulting firm on behalf of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for Project 50, a pet initiative spearheaded by its suspended Director General, Ms. Arunma Oteh, to celebrate 50 years of capital market regulation, the board of the commission has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to audit the programme.
This is just as the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, yesterday named Mr. Ibrahim Bolaji Bello, Director of Finance and Administration, as the acting Director-General of SEC following the retirement of Ms. Daisy Ekineh, who has been acting in that capacity since Tuesday. Bello will take over next Monday.
Ekineh, who is the Executive Commissioner, Operations, was appointed to act following Oteh’s suspension last Monday by the SEC board over allegations of mismanagement of funds and resources for Project 50.
However, Ekineh’s tenure at the commission along with other board members expires today, hence the appointment of Bello, who is the most senior director to oversee SEC, pending the reconstitution of the board by the Federal Government.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, Okonjo-Iweala foreclosed any extension of the tenure of the three executive commissioners – Ekineh, Charles Udora and Alhaji Sanni Stores – as well as the chairman, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma.
According to her, the external auditor, PWC, would scrutinise the books of the commission on the Project 50 programmes, which will take three weeks to complete, following which government would decide on the appointment of a new DG for SEC.
She said: “Nobody is attempting to extend their (executive commissioners’) tenure and there should be no fear or danger of that.
“From Monday next week, with the concurrence of Mr. President, one of the senior directors will be designated on a temporary basis as acting DG to carry on with his director’s job, but at the same time will be acting DG.
“His name is Bolaji Ibrahim Bello. He is presently the Director in charge of Finance and Administration and he will be acting from Monday.”
Bello, who became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers in 1997, qualified as a stockbroker in 1981. He worked as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Empire Securities Limited before joining SEC in 2001.
Prior to being made the director of administration, he was in charge of the Lagos zonal office of the commission.
He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Lagos and an MBA from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
PWC was appointed to conduct an independent audit on the sources of funds for Project 50 and how they were utilised.
Oteh was asked to proceed on compulsory leave last Monday, following the recommendation of the board’s Audit and Finance Committee which was directed to investigate Project 50.
According to the board, Oteh’s suspension was necessary to carry out an independent investigation into the allegations against her in line with good corporate governance practice, as remaining in her position as DG would have impeded the investigation.
THISDAY learnt that the Audit and Financial Committee, chaired by Mr. Christopher Chukwu, who is a representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the SEC board, had recommended that key actors in the management of Project 50 funds be suspended for unimpeded investigation into how they managed the money.
“Oteh admitted to the committee that she was the only key actor from SEC who was in charge of the management of the funds and other resources of the Project 50.
“Besides, her action contravenes Section 19 of the Investment and Securities Act, which stipulates that the commission shall maintain an account into which funds accruing from the Federal Government, penalties, fees, charges and administrative cost of proceedings, monetary gifts and contributions from other sources must be paid into.
“But the provision of this section was not followed in the case of Project 50,” a SEC source explained.
While the amount contributed to the Project 50 has not been ascertained, SEC sources suspect that quoted companies and market operators made financial contributions to the fund.
It was further gathered that Quo Vadis Limited, a company owned by the Ogun State Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, acted as a consultant to Project 50.
Strangely, Oteh last Tuesday defied her suspension to attend the National Economic Management Team meeting chaired by President Goodluck Jonthan.
Sources said it was surprising that the president and finance minister allowed Oteh to attend the meeting despite being aware of her suspension as the chief executive of SEC.
Music producer/artiste, Samklef’s manager has denied that the artiste, who was recently denied entry upon arrival in England, and subsequently deported, traveled to the U.K on a false claim.
The story, published recently in Encomium Weekly, alleged that the father of one said he’d lied to immigration officers about his reasons for travelling to the U.K, saying most Nigerian artistes do it.
The magazine wrote:
Encomium Magazine: We learnt you told immigration that you were on vacation and they eventually found out you came for shows without work permit. How true is it?
However, Samklef’s manager is now denying this. In a chat with NET, he said ‘I don’t know where Encomium got their information from.’
He however admits Samklef, 26, was denied entry, and sent back from Heathrow arrival.
Samklef refused to have a conversation with us on this issue, passing the phone to his manager after initially picking it up himself.
According to the manager, ‘Samklef was once invited to the U.K for a show, but couldn’t attend due to logistics challenges on the part of the organizers. A few months later, he got another invitation and tried to travel on the visa issued him by the former company, but unknown to him, that company had reported him to immigration, accusing him of fraudulent activities, hence, he was sent back to Nigeria’.
However, he claims everything has been settled since then, and ‘all is now well’.
NO fewer than 10 policemen and employees of a new generation bank have been arrested and detained for questioning by the police in Delta State over the shocking disappearance on Monday of N14 million from a bank vehicle, which they escorted from Effurun to Ekpan in Delta State.
The suspects were said to have been detained at the Police Area Commander’s Office, Warri, but the Area Commander had requested that the suspects be transferred to the State Police Command, Asaba for further investigation.
Delta state police spokesman, Mr. Charles Muka, told Vanguard when contacted that he was yet to be briefed on the matter.
It was , however, gathered that the policemen from Enerhen Police Station, Enerhen, were deployed to the bank, along Warri-Sapele Road, Warri, to escort money from the bank to its cash office on Refinery road, Ekpan, Monday.
On getting to the cash office of the bank at Ekpan, it was discovered on checking the boxes that there was no money inside.
There was an instant alarm as neither the policemen nor the cash officers could give logical reason for the scandal.
Some of the posers detectives would have to unravel in the case are: If the policemen in the escort team from Enerhen knew before they left the bank’s office at Effurun that there was no money in the boxes they were escorting to Ekpan cash office of the bank or if they are part of the conspiracy
A police source told Vanguard, “If they policemen are not culpable, then the detectives would have to find out the people connived to pull the scam”.
The Sito Central Mosque home of a couple on Seme Border Road, Mosafejo, Badagry, has become a Mecca of sorts following claims of the delivery last week of a baby boy with a circumcised penis.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a 30-year old woman, Mrs. Raimo Mafus, had on June 6 been delivered of the baby at the Convalescence Maternity Home, Mosafejo, near Badagry.
The father of the baby, Mr. Mohammed Mafus, 46, told NAN that an Imam, Malam Sani from Katsina State, had foretold the birth of a “wonderful child.”
“The Imam, who is my friend, had told my wife sometime ago that she would soon have a great baby,” he said.
He said he could not afford ante-natal expenses at the General Hospital, Badagry, and therefore, took his wife to the maternity home where an auxiliary nurse, Miss Oluwayemisi Obalola, took delivery of the baby.
Mrs. Mafus said that during pregnancy, she saw many signs.
“When I am sitting down, I will be seeing stars surrounding me both in the day and at night. Also, I had pains in my right eye which disappeared the moment I delivered,” she said.
The auxiliary nurse, Obalola, described the birth of the baby as strange.
“That was the way I saw the baby coming out of the womb and it was strange to me because I know that even though I have not seen such before, I have been hearing of it,” Obalola said.
She, however, described it as one of the signs of the end-times which Jesus had predicted in the Bible.
Mrs. Atiku Naimo, a neighbour of the family, told NAN that “it was a big surprise to everybody.”
“I helped to bathe him and I saw the penis too. Even the umbilical cord dropped and got dried up the following day,” she said.
But medical experts have disputed the claim that a baby can be born with circumcised penis, saying it might be an abnormality.
Dr. Fred Achem, President, Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON), has said that it was medically impossible for a baby to be born circumcised.
He said that when a baby was being formed in the womb, there could be a possibility of abnormalities in the genital formation.
“Like we have abnormalities in the virginal or anus, so also there can be abnormalities in the formation of the penis.”
He explained that the development of the penis required a hood of skin called the prepuce and a passage, which connects the penis to the bladder which is the urethra.
According to him, the prepuce is the foreskin that surrounds and protects the head of the penis.
“If the hood of the skin is not properly developed, the penis may appear like it has been circumcised.
“So an absence of the hood of skin over the glands may give a circumcised impression.”
Achem advised that the baby should be taken to the hospital for proper examination.
Other doctors, who did not want their names to be mentioned, corroborated Achem’s views.
One of them said: “It is not medically possible to give birth to an already circumcised child; we have not seen that in medical history.
“The child may be having an abnormality involving the penis and many people will look at it as if it was already circumcised. ”
He advised that a urologist should examine the child to know what the problem is.
The High Court in Ogun State sitting in Ota, Wednesday, fixed July 12 for judgment in the suit involving the founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide and the young lady who was slapped during a church service in 2009.
Robert Igbinedion, a Lagos based lawyer who filed the suit on behalf of the young lady, is seeking the court to award N2billion as ‘general and exemplary damages’ against the flamboyant pastor among other reliefs.
Mr. Oyedepo was named the richest pastor in Nigeria last year by Forbes magazine with an estimated worth of over N20billion.
At the hearing on Wednesday, Dele Adesina, counsel to Bishop Oyedepo, complained to the court that Mr. Igbinedion added new grounds to his further counter affidavit which he served him on Wednesday morning.
Mr. Adesina, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, also told the court that they did not have a photograph and the video where the Bishop slapped the young lady.
Mr. Igbinedion had amended his charges by substituting Living Faith Christian Church International, whom he joined earlier as respondents, with the Board of Trustees of Living Faith Church Worldwide also known as Winners Chapel.
He also added that he is a human rights activist.
The judge ruled that the hearing would continue.
Mr. Adesina argued that there was nothing to show that the young lady who was slapped in the video – who had been dubbed ‘Miss Justice’ in the course of the suit – is a living person.
“There is nothing to show in the application that ‘Miss Justice’ is a living and existing person entitled to claim under the provisions of the 1999 Constitution,” Mr. Adesina said.
“We humbly submit that ‘Miss Justice’ is a fictitious person, not capable of being represented in court.
“For the applicant to establish that he is suing on behalf of another person, that person must be determinable and identifiable,” he added.
On his part, Mr. Igbinedion asked the court to grant him all his reliefs since the respondents, in denying that the young lady was slapped, had failed to help the court arrive at justice.
“The respondents rather chose to lay their defence on all imaginable legal technicalities without attacking or denying the several damaging allegations,” said Mr. Igbinedion.
A mild drama played out in court when the presiding judge asked David Olushola, who was representing Bishop Oyedepo’s church, to leave the court room.
Mr. Olushola, a pastor in the church, dressed in a white, collarless shirt in a black suit, sat at a place reserved for lawyers only.
After he identified himself as a lawyer, the judge insisted that he leave since he was improperly dressed.
Mr. Adesina’s intervention, however, saved the day as he argued that sending Mr. Olushola out of the court would be a subject for news.
Mr. Igbinedion told PREMIUM TIMES after Wednesday’s sitting that he is confident of a favourable ruling on the judgment day.
“I have full confidence in the Nigerian judiciary because if I don’t have, I would stop practicing,” Mr. Igbinedion said.
Efforts to get Mr. Adesina’s response were not successful. Phone calls were not answered and text message was not replied.
“I can do nothing but to wait for judgment,” Mr. Igbinedion added.
Deacon D.A.Olugunde, the father of the masked singer, Bisade Ologunde a.k.a. Lagbaja Omobabamukomuko, is dead.
Aged 83, the late Ologunde, a retired civil servant who served in the cabinet of the first military administrator of Kwara State, Col. David Bamigboye, died on Saturday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, Northcentral Nigeria.
A close aide of the masked one confirmed the death of Ologunde to P.M.NEWS.
Until his death, the late Ologunde was the Head of Deacons for many years at the Emmanuel Baptist Church, Sabo-Oke, Ilorin.
P.M.NEWS learnt that the burial arrangement for the deceased is yet to be announced by Lagbaja.
Lagbaja, who is devastated by the tragedy, only confided in some of his close pals the death of his dear father.
All attempts to get Lagbaja’s reaction on the incident proved futile.
Though his music career seems to be nosediving at the moment, Lagbaja is one of the unique musicians in Nigeria. Apart from his good blend of African and Western rhythms, the musician has carved a niche for himself with the use of traditional mask.
At a point, he was criticised for using the traditional mask, considering that he is the son of a devoted Deacon. According to Lagbaja, his mask is used as an icon of man’s facelessness.
Lagbaja is a Yoruba word that means “nobody in particular”. It depicts the anonymity of the so-called “common man”.
The mask and the name symbolise the faceless, the voiceless in the society, particularly in Africa.
Though the concept was developed long before that, his first album entitled Lagbaja was released in 1993.
Lagbaja’s groovy fusion has been referred to as afrojazz, afrobeat, highlife and afropop until now that he himself has christened the music AFRICANO, alluding mostly to the central role of African drums and grooves in his music.
Former jet-setting Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford, whose financial empire once spanned the Americas, was sentenced Thursday to 110 years in prison for bilking investors out of more than $7 billion over 20 years in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner handed down the sentence during a court hearing in which two people spoke on behalf of Stanford’s investors about how his fraud had affected their lives.
Prosecutors had asked that Stanford be sentenced to 230 years in prison, the maximum sentence possible after a jury convicted the one-time billionaire in March on 13 of 14 fraud-related counts. Stanford’s convictions on conspiracy, wire and mail fraud charges followed a seven-week trial.
Stanford’s attorneys had asked for a maximum of 44 months, a sentence he could have completed within about eight months because he has been jailed since his arrest in June 2009.
During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Stanford gave rambling statement to the court in which he denied he did anything wrong. Speaking for more than 40 minutes, Stanford said he was a scapegoat and blamed the federal government and a U.S. appointed receiver who took over his companies for tearing down his business empire and preventing his investors from getting any of their money back.
“I’m not here to ask for sympathy or forgiveness or to throw myself at your mercy,” Stanford told Hittner. “I did not run a Ponzi scheme. I didn’t defraud anybody.”
Stanford was once considered one of the richest men in the U.S., with an estimated net worth of more than $2 billion. His financial empire stretched from the U.S. to Latin America and the Caribbean. But after his arrest, all of his assets were seized and he had to rely on court-appointed attorneys to defend him.
Calling Stanford arrogant and remorseless, prosecutors said he used the money from investors who bought certificates of deposit, or CDs, from his bank on the Caribbean island nation of Antigua to fund a string of failed businesses, bribe regulators and pay for a lavish lifestyle that included yachts, a fleet of private jets and sponsorship of cricket tournaments.
Defense attorneys portrayed Stanford, 62, as a visionary entrepreneur who made money for investors and conducted legitimate business deals. They accused the prosecution’s star witness – James M. Davis, the former chief financial officer for Stanford’s various companies – of being behind the fraud and tried to discredit him by calling him a liar and tax cheat.
The jury that convicted Stanford also cleared the way for U.S. authorities to go after about $330 million in stolen investor funds sitting in the financier’s frozen foreign bank accounts in Canada, England and Switzerland.
But due to legal wrangling, it could be years before the more than 21,000 investors recover anything, and whatever they ultimately get will only be a fraction of what they lost.
The financier’s trial was delayed after he was declared incompetent in January 2011 due to an anti-anxiety drug addiction he developed in jail. He underwent treatment and was declared fit for trial in December.
Three other former Stanford executives are scheduled for trial in September. A former Antiguan financial regulator was indicted and awaits extradition to the U.S.
Stanford and his former executives also are fighting a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that accuses them of fraud.
The Speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly, Hon. Konbowei Benson, has expressed disgust at the poor sanitary condition of clinics and public hospitals in the state.
The speaker described the state of the hospitals as “dirty and smelling’’.
Konbowei made the disclosure in Yenagoa on Thursday at the House plenary during the screening of a Commissioner-nominee, Dr Michael Awoli.
Awoli’s name was sent to the lawmakers by Gov. Seriake Dickson, for screening and confirmation as a commissioner.
According to the Speaker, the unhealthy state of health facilities in the state is a source of great concern to the state government.
Konbowei said the situation necessitated the governor’s declaration of a state of emergency in the state’s health sector.
“Our hospitals and clinics are very dirty and smelling. This is not healthy for the lives of our people.
“Because a hospital that is supposed to be a shelter for the sick, is rather compounding the health of the patients. ”
The Speaker reminded the commissioner-nominee of the onerous task ahead of him if appointed the commissioner of health.
Konbowei demanded Awoli to proffer solutions to the various strike actions by medical doctors in the nation.
“This government is out to achieve specific goals; we want performance and not too much book work that does not make a difference when compared to what we have had in the past.”
Konbowei said the state government was determined to reposition the delivery of health care services to its people.
He also frowned at situations where some people sabotaged the efforts of the state government to make living more meaningful for the people.
“Today, what we see is that people who are paid to render services now turn around to hold government at ransom at the expense of the people’s lives.”
Responding, Awoli, the commissioner-nominee, assured that he would do his best to revamp the situation in the health sector.
He promised to work with the local councils to promote efficient primary health care delivery.
The commissioner-nominee explained that no doctor gets pleasure by embarking on strike.
Awoli said that many a situation when doctors went on strike, resulted from a breakdown of communication and over – exhausted dialogue.
“The desire of every doctor is to save lives; no doctor derives pleasure to go on strike. But in Nigeria, you plead so much for attention and you are pushed to the wall.
“We should remember that doctors are also human like other workers, with desire for better working condition.”
Awoli, however, assured that he would discourage strike as an option among his colleagues by initiating better working relations with government through dialogue and motivating the doctors to put in their best.
He said that he would evolve a new discipline among health workers through greater supervision and regular monitoring to ensure efficient health care delivery service in the state.
The Awoli, an ophthalmologist and public health physician from the Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa, is expected to fill the vacant health portfolio. (NAN)
BARELY one month to the Edo State governorship election, the Edo Police Command has told politicians in the state that it will enforce to the letter election guidelines meant to ensure a hitch-free exercise.
The Command said no politician in the state would be allowed to move about in any convoy, adding that political aides and police orderlies attached to politicians should perform their constitutional duties while their principals should do the same.
The state Police Commissioner, Olayinka Balogun, said on a visit to the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists: “Everybody registered within their area of residence, so there will be no vehicular movement on July 14. We will not even condone the movement of motorcycles, tricycles or bicycles, people will trek to their polling booths to perform their civic duties.”
He continued: “There will be no room for observers from youth groups, student bodies, political parties or any cultural organisation during the July 14 election. Only duly accredited observers, with proper identification, from within and outside the country will be allowed to do this.”
Besides, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has said the party will reclaim the state it lost to rival Action Congress of Nigeria four years ago.
While inaugurating yesterday the Edo State gubernatorial election campaign committee consisting of 48 members led by Vice President, Namadi Sambo, the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, noted that the state was largely PDP and the party was set to reclaim it.
Tukur said: “The history of our great party cannot be complete without Edo State. PDP and Edo State are intertwined, as very important founding fathers of the party are from the state. This relationship between the party and Edo State from its unique perspective has, therefore, positioned the state as a must-have PDP state.
“I wish to reiterate my commitment and determination to ensuring this election as a major victory for a party. I have been a winner in business, I have been a winner in politics and Insha Allah, we shall win the forthcoming election in Edo State.”