Monday 6 February 2017
Posted by Editor. at 19:43
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has said plans are afoot to remove yellow buses popularly known as Danfo from Lagos roads for a world class mass transportation system that would facilitate ease of movement within the city.
Speaking at the 14th Annual Lecture of the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) held at Muson Centre in Onikan with the theme: “Living Well Together, Tomorrow: The Challenge Of Africa’s Future Cities,” Governor Ambode admitted that the present connectivity mode in Lagos was not acceptable and befitting for a mega city, and as such a well-structured transportation mode would soon be put in place to address the challenge.
“When I wake up in the morning and see all these yellow buses and see Okada and all kinds of tricycles and then we claim we are a mega city, that is not true and we must first acknowledge that that is a faulty connectivity that we are running.
“Having accepted that, we have to look for the solution and that is why we want to banish yellow buses this year. We must address the issue of connectivity that makes people to move around with ease and that is where we are going.
“For instance, people going from Ikorodu to CMS have started leaving their cars at home because the buses are very convenient and so why can’t we do that for other places? Yes, we don’t have the money to do that but we can go to the capital market and then improve on the technology of collection of fares and that will encourage investors and then the city will change,” Governor Ambode said.
He said government was also embarking on massive reform in waste management system, expressing optimism that the plan will fully be actualized by July this year.
He said: “We are also embarking on massive reform in the waste and sanitation management system. I don’t like the way the city is and the Private Sector Participants (PSP) collectors are not having enough capacity to do it but again should I tax people to death, the answer is no. I don’t want to tax people and so we need this partnership with the private sector so that they can invest in the sanitation management of the city and in no time maybe by July, the city will change forever.”
In his opening remarks, CVL founder and renowned development expert, Professor Pat Utomi said the idea behind the formation of the group was to get young people to begin to appreciate early what leadership was all about being service to the people.
Speaking on the theme of the symposium, Utomi said Lagos remained the best governed State in Nigeria in the last 18 years, and a good example of what the country should be beyond and without oil.
Posted by Editor. at 18:40
Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, on Monday, asked the Federal High Court Abuja, to adjourn his case to allow him explore other options of settlement aside from going to trial.
Counsel for Fani-Kayode, Mr Ameh Raji (SAN), who made the application on his behalf said that since the sum of money involved was only N26 million, he believed that there were other options of settlement.
Raji added that moreover, he was new on the case and would need some time to go over the facts of the case to enable him defend his client effectively.
“My Lord, I am just coming into the case, so I crave your indulgence to enable me familiarize myself with the case.
“Secondly, looking at the facts of the case and the money involved, I believe that there are other options we can explore.
“The case involves the sum of N26 million and the law allows you to explore the option of a plea bargain and so many other options rather than go through trial,” Raji said.
He said that if the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was amenable to plea bargain, the defence would take the option.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Johnson Ojogbane said he was not opposing the application.
Ojogbane, however, asked the court to take cognizance of the fact that this was the second adjournment at the instance of the defence and asked for a definite date to commence trial.
The judge, Justice John Tsoho, adjourned the matter till March 14 for commencement of trial.
Fani-Kayode was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before Justice Tsoho on a fresh five counts bordering on money laundering.
The ex-aviation minister was accused of allegedly collecting N26 million from the Office of the Former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and using same for media campaign.
Count two of the charge read that;” You Femi Fani-Kayode, converted N26 million cash paid from the office of the National Security Adviser for the purpose of media campaign when you ought to have reasonably known that the said funds formed part of an unlawful act contrary to section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering Act.”
Following the argument of his bail application by the counsel who represented him on that day, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), he was admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million and one surety in like sum.
Fani-Kayode is facing another 17 counts of money laundering before the Lagos division of the court.
Posted by Editor. at 18:34
The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday said only President Muhammadu Buhari would disclose his health status to Nigerians at the appropriate time.
He also said he was not in any way under pressure to resign.
Osinbajo spoke with State House correspondents shortly after meeting behind closed doors with the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
While saying the President is hale and hearty, Osinbajo said he spoke with him earlier in the day to keep him abreast of developments regarding the 2017 Budget and the protests embarked upon by some Nigerians.
Posted by Editor. at 18:31
Makurdi, the Benue State capital, was thrown into mourning last Friday after the discovery of a lifeless body of a mother of two said to have drowned herself due to her inability to repay the loan of N400,000 she invested in MMM, writes JOHN CHARLES
Husband of 34-year-old mother of two, Gloria Samson, whose lifeless body was discovered floating on River Benue by the police in Benue State, has said he didn’t have any inkling that his wife planned to kill herself.
Speaking in an emotion-laden voice, David Samson told SUNDAY PUNCH that he was aware that his wife was a victim of the money-doubling scheme; Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox otherwise called MMM.
The deceased began the journey to her final resting place at a public cemetery located in Ankpa ward, Makurdi, the state capital, last Friday.
As her corpse, wrapped in a casket, arrived in the cemetery, crowd of mourners wore gloomy faces, women wept profusely and men in teary eyes shook their heads intermittently.
The circumstance surrounding the death of the woman fuelled the agony of the sympathisers who knew the deceased. She lived with her family at Vandeikya Street, Makurdi. Sources told SUNDAY PUNCH that the woman left home without her phone three days after Christmas and reportedly told her kids to forgive her. She also sent same message to her husband through her children.
It was learnt that few days after she left her home, precisely January 2, the police in Benue discovered a lifeless body floating on River Benue at Wadata area, few kilometers to her residence.
Rescue operations got the floating corpse and deposited the remains at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi. Meanwhile, Gloria’s family had searched for her for three weeks until they heard about the corpse the police discovered on River Benue which later turned out to be her.
Samson disclosed that he was aware that his wife took a loan of N400,000 from four different places which she did not invest in her petty business.
He said, ‘‘My wife was into petty trading and she had been collecting soft loan from a micro finance bank to boost her business. Anytime she collected the money, she paid back and in most cases, I was her guarantor.
“You know women sometimes keep secret; towards November and December 2016, I discovered she took a loan from four places amounting to N400,000. I do not know what she used the money for because there was nothing in the shop to suggest that she invested the money in her business.
“She did not tell me but what I observed is that my wife developed a cold attitude around the time the report of the freezing of accounts of MMM subscribers in Nigeria went viral. Her attitude changed and she became depressed.”
He stated that the situation lasted till the Christmas period and when he asked her what the problem was, she told him that she was sick and he told her to see a doctor.
“She obliged and was diagnosed of typhoid and malaria and placed on medication. Even on Christmas Day, she could not go to church. A day after Christmas, she complained of pile and I had to buy traditional medicine which she declined to take. On December 28, 2016 around 11pm, I was at my place of work when my son, Wisdom called me using his mother’s phone number telling me that his mother had left the house since and had yet to return. I told him I was close by and on getting home, I did not see her. I discovered that she left the house with a gown and bathroom slippers.
“I tried to look for her and could not find her. I picked my phone and contacted my siblings and brother-in-law. The following morning, I went to B Police Division to complain but I was told to wait after 24 hours, which I did. On the second day, I was asked to make a statement and leave behind my phone number.’’
The distraught husband further said he did not hear from the police for two weeks and he had to keep searching and informing people in case anyone of them saw his wife.
“Some members of my church including my pastor were aware and kept on interceding for us. This continued until last Tuesday when a woman came to my house and told one of my neighbours that a police woman told her that they discovered the body of a woman floating on River Benue around Wadata area since January 2.
“Immediately I heard this, I was perplexed because something in me told me it might be my wife. I told my neighbour to join me to go to A Division at Wadata. When we got there, the police showed me the picture of the dead woman and I discovered that she was my wife.’’
He told our correspondent that he was still confused as to what could make his wife to kill herself. He stated, “My wife loved herself and she could not even allow a razor to touch her body not to talk of going to this length. That is why I said it is more of spiritual attack, but only God knows.
“At the same time, when you look at the whole scenario, there is a conclusion that the money she collected was not invested in her business.’’
Neighbours of the deceased who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity said she became moody shortly after the operators of the MMM froze three million accounts belonging to its Nigerian subscribers early December.
One of them said, “What we gathered is that she borrowed money from four different places and invested it in MMM. But shortly after MMM froze the accounts of its Nigerian subscribers, she withdrew from people.”
Another neighbour stated, “The woman was a jovial person but suddenly she withdrew to herself. I even tried to find out what was wrong with her because she was my customer but she did not tell me. She had a shop where she sold petty things. I later gathered that she took a loan from various places but instead of using it for her business, she invested it in MMM and since its collapse, she had refused to talk to anybody.”
One of the late woman’s customers at Wadata market, Makurdi, identified only as Bridget said, “We met before Christmas and she lamented that she invested the loan she took from a micro finance bank and other sources in an investment that would bring quick and double money (referring to MMM) but the thing collapsed. She threatened that she would run away and I even preached to her not to do so. Since then, I did not see her again only to hear last Tuesday that she drowned herself in River Benue around Wadata.”
When contacted, spokesman for the police in the state, Moses Yamu, confirmed the incident.
“The husband of the deceased had come to claim the corpse,” he said.
Posted by Editor. at 18:09
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