Sen. Tokunbo Afikuyomi’s iron fish – and more, in today’s news roundup with Cheta Nwanze

by Cheta Nwanze

Tokunbo Afikuyomi

For me, the biggest regret is that the website 234Next was pulled down by my former employer. There were a lot of records of interest stored there, some of which can still be seen using the Internet Archiving service.

In response to the last tonic you got before we all went a-holidaying Ade Ipaye wrote,

Of the iron fish that sailed away, you appear to be one of those that still thinks it’s a Lagos Government affair, despite several protestations the contrary. The plain truth is that the Government had no kobo in it and never anticipated any profit from it. Please check your facts further if the doubts linger still.
Best wishes.

Chxta’s response

When I worked at 234Next, one of the investigative reporters, Nicholas Ibekwe, did an investigation on that floating hotel.

The Lagos Commissioner for Tourism, Senator Afikuyomi allegedly fronted MIDC, in collaboration with Diamond Capital, to facilitate bringing the ship to the Marina. As a matter of fact, the ship was towed to the Marina at a huge cost. Same way it was towed away a few days back.

Things went out of hand during the banking crisis as Diamond Capital had to explain to Sanusi how they gave such a loan without collateral. During the investigation, a staffer at MIDC told Nicholas, on record, that they helped Diamond Capital cook their books to fend off Sanusi’s financial sniffer dogs. Somehow the MIDC guys and Diamond Capital had a big quarrel over who made more money than the other and the matter went to court. The case ended in MIDC’s favour, and till date, there is no record of any other deal that MIDC has done before, or after that transaction.

Even then Lagos officials claimed that they did not invest a kobo. They said it was a Public Private partnership (PPP). That they only facilitated the initiative by allowing the ship to berth at the Marina.

One thing was clear though, Afikuyomi’s involvement in the whole matter went beyond that of a public official just providing space for ship to berth. His name came up at every stage of the negotiation. He even travelled with them to Barcelona when the ship was bought from its original owners and got involved in so many other ways that pointed to his protecting his or other interests.

One thing remains clear though, the Lagos State can’t completely deny culpability in the matter. It may or may not have spent public funds in the deal but it definitely allowed itself to be used as a conduit for fraud.

For me, the biggest regret is that the website 234Next was pulled down by my former employer. There were a lot of records of interest stored there, some of which can still be seen using the Internet Archiving service.

Bits and bobs

Human Rights Watch has released a report which heavily contradicts the khaki boys. Satellite images show the devastation in Baga, Borno state.

#DoyinOkupe has been off my radar for a while but makes a return as a prophet. His prophecy, “there will be no opposition by next year”.

Meanwhile in a press release made by the NOI Polls, the Prez’s approval ratings have taken a hit.

The PDP in River’s state says it has no plans to impeach the state governor, Don Amaechi. This after whisking away all those loyal to him from position. Tigran Petrosian would be proud.

Finally, to boost his falling grades, a 400 level medical student in DELSU, hacked into Governor Uduaghan’s phone and sent a text to the Vice Chancellor. Now there’s someone who can do what the FG is dashing $40 million to foreigners for…

Right of Reply

Lanre Neville wrote,

So sad that most mornings, you send half truth emails to people misinforming them on National issues. Without link to such story. don’t make your report sweet or pitiful, but make it factual and you’ll go places. This is one problems our leaders have, same u copy.  “Former policeman, Kelvin Ighodalo, will spend the next 45 years pondering the benefits of stealing a governor’s phone.” Ur statement. that doesn’t pronounce him to spend 45yrs, it’ll run concurrently(every term together) which means 10yrs…That’s 5yrs. Haba

Chxta responds,

My apologies for misleading you, and the public on Kelvin Ighodalo’s sentence. I’m truly sorry. For the sake of clarity, Ighodalo will spend 10 years in jail. 10, 10, 10, 10 and 5 concurrently for each of the five counts he was found guilty of, and for the records, focusing on my regretable error does not detract from the fact that the punishment for the crime is hugely disproportionate as compared to what some others have been sentenced to for stealing far larger pieces of property.


Ade Adene wrote,


Chxta you oversimplify the NCC directive to MTN and I think the BusinessDay headline is misleading as well.

Briefly put MTN’s market share of 44%(which is not in itself an offence)means that they are able to offer SIGNIFICANTLY lower tariffs for on-net calls and price off -net calls at a premium such that MTN subscribers are at a disadvantage when calling subscribers on other networks. This pricing strategy creates a hedge around MTN subscribers and is anti-competitive because it creates and fosters lop-sided balance of payments for cost of call termination between operators such that smaller operators are in effect “subsidizing” MTN’s costs 

What the NCC has therefore done is to impose restrictions on MTN’s ability to abuse its dominant position through such negative pricing strategies by directing MTN to remove the wide disparity between its on-net and off-net tariffs.

I have read the entire report as released by the NCC and there’s nowhere in it that can be RESPONSIBLY construed as a license for MTN to raise tariffs in the sense in which both yourself and BUSINESSDAY have reported the story.


Chxta responds,

Thanks for the education Ade. I just want cheaper call rates, now and forever. I talk a lot as you must have noticed…



Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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