Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Video - Aid from UK wasted on Nigerian school

Schools in Nigeria are not benefiting from foreign aid. A new report issued by a british commission says aid from the UK has been wasted .

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nigerian students win google app contest

Three University of Lagos (UNILAG) students, have won the Google Apps Developer Challenge for the Enterprise/Small Business Solutions category in sub-Saharan Africa.

The students: Bolutife Ogunsola, Michael Adeyeri and Willie Aniebiet, created the Form+ application software; an interface that creates application forms by just dragging and dropping components.

The user can create forms - such as curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé submission forms for businesses and coursework submission page for lecturers.

Emeka Afigbo, Program Manager, Google, stated: "Our expectation is that this motivates more young Nigerian developers to develop apps that change the way we live in Nigeria and Africa at large."

The winners were rewarded with Chromebooks and $20,000.

They also won a grant worth $18,000 for their school's department.

Students create urine powered generator to combat electricity shortage in Nigeria

It's ironic that Nigeria, Africa's leading oil producer, suffers from frequent fuel and power shortages. But four school girls have found a solution from an unlikely source: urine.

Most Nigerians have to rely on generators because of the epileptic power supply. Many businesses have also closed down because they cannot afford to buy expensive fuel from the black market to power their generators.

Faced with this problem, four teenagers from the Doregos Private Academy School in Lagos developed a generator powered by urine.

"We noticed that many Nigerians, [those whose] businesses depend on a power supply have virtually been put out of business because of the high cost of power, so we decided to make a device that will reduce this problem. We noticed that waste products can be used to generate energy that is why we decided to experiment on urine," said Eniola Bello, one of the students.

The generator is powered by hydrogen and oxygen formed from urine stored in a compartment attached to the generator.

Adebola Duro-Aina, another student, said six litres of urine can power the small generator for 36 hours.

"This urine is being electrolysed, releasing hydrogen and oxygen gas, and this then goes into our gas tank. Our gas tank here stores the gases, and anytime we need the gas we can open up the gas tank and release the gas and our generator is powered."

When the girls power up the generator, the light bulbs in the room lit up.

"The generator powers everything in the house," one of the girls said. "We were so excited, we were so happy once the generator started working."

The girls say they were frustrated with growing up in an environment where they cannot read at night or watch their favourite television program because of the irregular power supply. The invention of this urine powered generator comes at a time when the Nigerian government is under increasing pressure to address the country's electricity problems.

Man bathes fiancée in acid

A middle-aged man David Suleiman has been arrested by the police in Lagos State for allegedly pouring acid on his fiancée, Chika Egbo and a yet to be identified Okada rider at Ikotun area of Lagos State.

Suleiman who is currently being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti,Yaba, Lagos, was said to have attacked his girl friend, a 300 level student at Enugu State College of Education, with acid for refusing him access to their only child.

Police sources at the state SCID, intimated Vanguard that trouble began for the couple when Egbo became pregnant for Suleiman, and he abandoned her claiming that he travelled out of the country, and leaving her with the burden of fending for herself and the baby.

But few months after giving birth, he came back requesting to see the baby and he was refused.

A source, who craved anonymity, said he tricked the 25-year-old students who resides in Enugu State to Lagos State and he took her to an hidden spot in Ikotun where he poured the acid on her.

"An Okada rider who witnessed as the incident unfold went after Suleiman, but while he chased him, Suleiman emptied the can of acid on the Okada rider, who held him strongly waiting for the help.

Other Okada riders who drove by saw what was happening and the came to his rescue and they took Suleiman to Ikotun police station while the Okada rider and Egbo were rushed to a hospital."

Meanwhile, Egbo, who is laying critically ill at the emergency unit of the Lagos State Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, had her face, chest and some other parts of body destroyed by the acid bath.

Airport staff caught with $2 million at Lagos airport

A staff of a company operating at the Lagos airport was arrested along with a traveler trying to transport over two million dollars and 20,300 Saudi Arabian riyals at the weekend.

Mr. Hassan Rmaiti who had a duty card supplied by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) was arrested together with Mr. Talal Hammoud as they evaded Customs with three bags containing $2,073,160 and 20,300 Saudi Arabian Riyal, an official said.

The two men were arrested by the Airport Special Task Force at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, said airport area comptroller of Customs Mr Eporwei Edike Charles.

He said the cash was seized from the suspects after they failed to declare it to officers on duty.

Charles said in a statement that the suspects were identified as Mr. Talal Hammoud with passport number A03599105 and Mr. Hassan Rmaiti with FAAN "on duty card number 25009 and the three bags of money have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation and necessary action."

But the area comptroller did not say which company Mr. Rmaiti was representing at the airport. It is customary that FAAN issues duty cards to people working at the airport even though they are not FAAN staff, our correspondent says.

Charles said the foreign currencies were found on the two suspects at the "E" wing departure area of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

"The suspects violated regulations of government by attempting to take such amount of money out of the country without declaring the currencies to Nigeria Customs currency desk officers on duty," he added.

This seizure is coming after several others made recently in Lagos as well as in Abuja.

Just last week, the Customs in Lagos arrested a passenger with over $320,000 aboard a Qatar Airways flight bound to Doha.

Weeks ago, a man arrested with hard currency was convicted at a court in Lagos and he was made to forfeit the money to the Federal Government.

The special task force operating at the Lagos international airport comprises different security agencies including EFCC, Customs, State Security Service, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigeria Immigration Service, and others working at the airport.

It was recently inaugurated by the Federal Government for the monitoring of the operations of security agencies, airlines and other stakeholders at the airport, at check in counters, departure screening areas and arrival halls.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

11 confirmed dead at explosion in church at Army base in Kaduna, Nigeria

At least 11 people have reportedly been killed after car bombs were detonated at a Protestant church inside a military barracks in Jaji in Nigeria's Kaduna State.

"A Kia-branded car drove into the church premises ... then detonated the bomb" with the driver still inside, a military officer told the Reuters news agency, asking not to be named. The first blast ocurred at around 1145GMT.

"Then an ash-coloured Toyota Camry drove in and exploded while people came to help after the first bomb. Most people died from the second blast."

Nigeria's National Emergency Agency confirmed there had been an explosion inside the barracks and said it was "likely at a worship centre".

"I saw five bodies and scores injured," a second officer told Reuters. The death toll has not yet been officially confirmed.

"There was a blast today in a church inside the military barracks in Jaji," military spokesman Colonel Sani Usman told the AFP news agency.

"It happened after the church service."

But army spokesman Bola Koleoso disagreed with earlier accounts and said a bus drove into the side of the St Andrew Military Protestant Church and exploded at around 1105GMT, five minutes after a service had started.


There are different accounts of the incident, explained Al Jazeera's Ahmed Idris.

"First there was a report that a huge bomb blast took place, injuring some people and killing some, probably at least five people - but this has not been independently confirmed," he reported from Nigerian capital Abuja.

"But there are other stories that say that one bomb went off, and as people gathered to see what happened, a second device went off, injuring several, and killing five people at the church.

"There is no claim of responsiblilty yet, but this comes less than 48 hours after the military issued a statement declaring at least 19 top commanders of Boko Haram 'wanted'. There was a bounty of 50 million Naira ($318,000) on the leader of the group, a man named Abubakar Shekau, and 18 other lieutenants of the group.

"This is also coming on the same day that gunmen in the northwestern state of Sokoto attacked a police station, and took away some guns and ammunition. It's not clear at the moment who carried out the attack, but all pointers, all suspicions are directed at Boko Haram. the group has been targeting churches and other military installations across northern Nigeria in the past two years."

Al Jazeera's Yvonne Ndege, reporting from Lagos, said the bombing "could be a way of showing the Nigerian security services that [Boko Haram] is still strong and can still perpetrate these acts of violence".

"Obviously there will be an investigation by the military, police and security services, but it is very difficult to see what strategy the government can impose to deal with these sort of attacks," she said.

Jaji is some 30 kilometres from the state capital, Kaduna City. The state in northern Nigeria has been the target of several bomb attacks this year, including some at churches. Previous attacks have been claimed by Boko Haram, an armed group which has killed hundreds in its insurgency.

Boko Haram has claimed to be seeking an Islamic state in Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer.

However, its demands have repeatedly shifted and it is believed to include various factions with differing aims, in addition to imitators and criminal gangs that carry out violence while posing as members of the group.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nigeria is the worst country to be born in according to the Economist Intelligence Unit

The advanced world conducts all manners of research, most times to confirm a pre-determined belief or mindset. Worse still, there are hardly global monitors to validate either the process or the outcome of such researches.

One of such researches has been conducted with Nigeria as one of the countries focused on. And the result, expectedly, is a damning verdict on Nigeria.

The country is known for many things, some good and admittedly, some bad. In recent times, there have been a number of research reports completed by international organisations and the results have not been favourable to Nigeria.

In October 2012, the African Insurance Organisation ranked Nigeria as the "Kidnap-for-Ransom Capital of the World," accounting for 25 per cent of global kidnappings. Somalia, which had been in the business of sea piracy and kidnappings long before Nigeria joined the 'league', has long been overtaken by Nigeria according to the rating. In June 2012, the Global Peace Index ranked Nigeria as the sixth most dangerous African country to live in.

Each time such results are released, it is usually followed by debates on various online platforms with many questioning the authenticity of the results.

Yesterday, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a sister company of The Economist magazine, released results of its 2013 Where-to-be-born Index. This time, Nigeria is ranked as No. 80 out of the 80 countries assessed, making it the worst country to be born in among the countries analysed. Put differently, Nigeria is the least or even the last place the sampled respondents would want to be born.

In the "Where-To-Be-Born Index" 2013, Nigeria has the lowest score of 4.74 points, placing her at the 80th position. The index ranks Switzerland as the best country to be born in with 8.22 points. The United States and Germany tie in the 16th position with 7.38 points.

Despite their strong economies, none of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) scores impressively. Among the African countries on the list, South Africa, which was ranked 53 on the list, comes first with 5.89 points followed by Algeria in the 54th position and with 5.86 points.

Nigeria is the worst place for a baby to enter the world in 2013, says the survey.

According to the EIU, the research "earnestly attempts to measure which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead".

Its quality-of-life index links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys-how happy people say they are-to objective determinants of the quality of life across countries. Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too.

In all, the index takes 11 statistically significant indicators into account. They are a mixed bunch: some are fixed factors, such as geography; others change only very slowly over time (demography, many social and cultural characteristics); and some factors depend on policies and the state of the world economy. All things considered, the socio-economic condition of a country helps to determine how satisfied or hopeful a people can be.

While the validity of the research may be a subject of intense debate among stakeholders, many believe they should serve as wake-up calls for the nation's leaders. Those who so believe argue that while the ratings may not be accurate readings of the Nigerian polity, they indeed serve as rough projections of the feelings of the Nigerians.

Video - Thousands flee Boko Haram violence

Thousands of people have fled violence in northeastern Nigeria's Yobe and Borno states. The civilians are caught in a bloody struggle between Nigerian security forces and Boko Haram, an armed Muslim group fighting against Western influence. Young men form the bulk of the displaced and some claim they have been wrongly accused of attacking government forces.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Video - Nigeria's military demands apology from international news agency Reuters

The Defence Headquarters has demanded an unreserved apology from Reuters International and its reporters over the release of video clip alleging that soldiers killed unarmed civilians in Maiduguri Borno State, as part of their sustained onslaught against Boko Haram insurgency.

Reuters among others claims on Sunday, November 18, 2012 alleged that a soldier filmed his colleagues purported to be members of the Joint Task Force (JTF) while they were summarily executing civilians in Maiduguri. They have however withdrawn the reports, citing lack of authenticity.

The military in press conference organised by their spokespersons Wednesday in Abuja, demanded that despite the fact that Reuters had withdrawn what it describes as "malicious report," it should in its apology give it same level of publicity it gave the video publication.

The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Col Mohammed Yerima, explained that the video clip was false in its entirety and fabricated for sinister motive.

Yerima gave a chronological evidence and documentation, which exposed the falsehood of the video that has already been published by Aljazeera Network on February 4, 2010, alleging that JTF were killing civilians in Jos, which were later found to be false.

He said that contrary to Reuters' report and the video clip, the Nigerian Army does not use the type of vehicles shown on Internal Security Operations and especially not in JTF operations.

He also noted that the vegetation in the video clip was not typical vegetation obtainable in Maiduguri or in any arid region in Nigeria.

"That Nigerian soldiers on internal security operation do not use belts over their camouflage uniforms. In fact, it is only the Guards Brigade based in Abuja that uses their belt over camouflage uniforms in the Nigerian Army," he said.

"Picture one of the report was used as the cover page of the Amnesty International report that was released on November 8, 2012. The same picture is again sued by Reuters who claimed it was captured two weeks ago. This, to a large extent, corroborates our conviction that there is a planned conspiracy to tarnish the image of JTF in Borno State," he noted.

"We consider this action by Reuters International as one of the series of calculated campaign of calumny by some disgruntled local and international interests to discredit the integrity and professionalism of Nigerian Armed Forces," he added.

"This unacceptable trend must stop. The Defence Headquarters demands an unreserved apology from Reuters International and its reporters, which must be given the same level of publicity that was given the malicious report," he demanded.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Former Super Eagles coach says players were corrupt

Former Nigeria national team coach, Clemens Westerhof has revealed that players bribed their way into the national team in the past.

Westerhof, who coached Nigeria to success at the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia and also led the Super Eagles to their first-ever Fifa World Cup in the United States in 1994, said the players who did not merit a place in the national team got call-ups after giving money to the selectors.

"We had a situation where we had the wrong people in the wrong places, even in the (Nigeria) FA," Westerhof told supersport.com.

The Dutchman went on to specifically state that monies usually exchanged hands between national team selectors and the players when places in the national team were considered.

"We had cases where players paid money to the coach and said 'I want to play for the national team' and the coach would accept. They bought their way into the national team and it was an unbelievable situation. Very sad. I know these things," an angry Westerhof said.

With Nigeria set to compete at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations from January, Westerhof said things have changed for the better under current head coach, Stephen Keshi.

"My captain (Keshi) is there now and you can see the changes because he selects the right people.

"Nigeria beat Liberia 6-1 in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier and outclassed Venezuela (in an international friendly earlier this month). The results come because players are now selected on merit.

"If Keshi can manage to hold that group together things will get even better. If there is discipline everywhere; the players sleep in time and live like professionals, work like professionals and think like professionals and even go to the toilet like a professional, then you will see Nigeria will come back," he said.

Westerhof, 72, began his career as an assistant coach with Feyenoord Rotterdam in the Dutch Eredivisie. He has also coached Vitesse Arnhem, the Zimbabwean national team, the Sporting Lions of Zimbabwe's Premier League, and the Bush Bucks and Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa's Premier Soccer League.

In addition, he has served as technical director of the Harare-based Agatha Sheneti Youth Academy and also of the Harare United club, which was linked to the Academy. In 2001 he was technical director of Dynamos FC, Zimbabwe's biggest club, but lasted in the position just a few months.

President Goodluck Jonathan's brother dies at age 45

It was a sombre birthday celebration for President Goodluck Jonathan tuesday as the death of his younger brother, Meni, dampened the commemoration of the president's 55th birthday.

Meni, who was the head of the Otueke Council of Chiefs, died at the National Hospital, Abuja. He was 45 years old.

Until his death, he was a businessman and owned some fuel filling stations in their home state of Bayelsa.

Investigations revealed that Meni had been terminally ill for over a year before he passed on Tuesday.

When THISDAY visited his home in Otuoke, sympathisers, mostly women, were seen consoling his daughter, Vivian.

Meni's two wives and the eldest of his 12 children were said to have left for Abuja following the announcement of his death.

It was gathered that Jonathan decided to evacuate Meni to Abuja on Saturday for proper medical treatment when he noticed that his health had deteriorated.

The president was in Otuoke on a strictly private visit, which included the dedication of the Mission House of the church building donated by Gitto Construction Company when his brother's condition was brought to his attention.

THISDAY gathered that the recent flooding, which had forced the people of Otuoke to flee their homes, may have aggravated the poor health of Meni, who reportedly refused to leave his home, the ground floor of which was overran by the rampaging flood.

When THISDAY visited Meni's home yesterday, some of his personal effects destroyed by the flood, such as furniture, still littered the compound, while the living room was bare.

At the palace of the royal father of the community, THISDAY was told that the traditional ruler would not speak on the death until he was officially informed.

However, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, confirmed the death in a statement issued tuesday.

"President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan announces with sadness the death earlier today (yesterday) of his younger brother, Chief Meni Innocent Jonathan.

"Chief Meni Jonathan passed away at the National Hospital, Abuja after a brief illness. "Formal burial arrangements will be announced later by the family," the statement said.

Hours before the official statement was issued, a source told THISDAY that the president, in company with Vice-President Namadi Sambo and the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, had visited the National Hospital when he received information about his brother's demise.

In a message yesterday, Senate President David Mark commiserated with Jonathan and Bayelsa State Government and its people over the death of Meni.

In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan, Mark urged the president and his family to take solace in the fact that Meni lived an exemplary life of discipline, decency and forthrightness, worthy of emulation.

"I share in this grief and pain. I pray God in His infinite mercies grants you the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss," he said.

Also reacting to news of the president's brother's death, the Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, sent a message of condolence to the president.

He led a delegation of senior citizens of the state to the presidential villa, Abuja, where he offered prayers for the deceased whom he described as a "fine gentleman and proud Bayelsan at heart, owing to his commitment and dedication to the development of not just his community but Bayelsa State as a whole."

Dickson also prayed that God should grant the president and his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nigerian gospel artist steals £120,000 from women he met on dating site

A Nigerian gospel singer, Oluwamayowa Ajayi, who fleeced four American women he met on the internet dating site, Match.com, of over £120,000 was jailed for six and a half years on Friday evening at Snakesbrook Crown Court in East London.

Ajayi, 31, who is an overstayer in Britain, looked blank and showed no outward emotions as he was handed the sentence. As if resigned to fate, he walked sheepishly behind one of the two female security guards who led him out of Courtroom 20, where his fate was sealed.

About a minute earlier, Judge Sarah Paneth told him, “I’m sentencing you to six and a half years. You may now go down - a technical term for jail. “

Ajayi, who performs under the stage name, “Malo Joe“ pretended to be an American fighter pilot, a grieving widower and an oil executive to the women he fleeced before the long arms of the law caught up with him.

Prior to his sentencing that evening, both the crown prosecutor and his defence counsel spent close to two hours making last minute submissions to the Judge.

While the crown prosecutor summed up his argument stating how Ajayi lived off the women by lying - among others, in one instance - that he had been held hostage by Niger Delta militants and therefore, his captors needed some ransom before he could be released, otherwise, they would kill him, his defence lawyer, John Femi - Ola pleaded with the court: “don’t crush him so that he can have the opportunity to do something useful with his life,” after his term. Femi-Ola also told the Judge that “this is his first time.”

Despite the pleas for mercy, it was inevitable that he would be caged. After listening to the pleas from both sides, the Judge took a 20 minute break at 3.40p.m. and when the court re-convened at 4.00p.m., she took about 40 minutes to read her sentencing notes, detailing the seven- count charge that Ajayi had been found guilty of by the jury who had found him guilty four days earlier.

In one instance, he tricked and lied to one of his victims who parted with over $100,000, that he was a businessman who was short of cash and therefore, needed a loan. The woman used some of the money on her credit card and also borrowed from family members to raise the funds.

In another, Ajayi claimed he was in the hands of Niger Delta militants and they would kill him within 20 hours if the woman didn’t do anything about the ransom they asked her to pay. She hurriedly sent $500 through Moneygram to Nigeria, where he then cashed the money.

According to the Judge, “all the four women were embarrassed” when each discovered they were dealing with a con man and not someone who loved them and was in a relationship. Of course, none knew about the other until detectives contacted them after his arrest.

The Judge told him,” you defrauded women of the sums the women cannot afford to lose.”

Ajayi, the Judge noted, would have continued preying on more innocent women had the arms of the law not caught up with him. As the Judge read her notes, his well wishers, numbering about seven, gasped and he looked resigned to his imminent fate before the curtain fell on his fraudulent life at 4.40p.m., when the judge told him, “I’m sentencing you to six and a half years. You may now go down.” The court guards wasted no time in sandwiching him between themselves as they led him out of the courtroom.

Although it’s not certain if he will be deported after his term, but Ajayi, who initially came to the United Kingdom (UK) on a six month visa in 2004, overstayed. He then left and on his return to the UK, falsely obtained a driver’s licence using the name of a Portuguese man who had died in 2004. This, the Judge noted, showed that the gospel singer was a chief in the criminal operation for which he was being jailed.


Related stories: Nigerian couple in UK prison for fraud

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nigerian artists win big at Channel O awards

Thirteen Nigerian acts walked into the Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, Soweto, SA, venue of the 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards with their heads held high; hours later, six of them emerged as winners.
D'banj cut the tape with the 'Most Gifted Male Video of the Year' award and also the 'Special Recognition' award which he missed last year as he had not been able to attend.
Pop giants Psquare won the 'Most Gifted Group/Duo' award for their collaboration with May D on the hit single 'Chop my money,' while highlife crooner Flavour won the 'Most Gifted R&B Music Video of the year' award for his collaboration with Tiwa Savage on 'Oyi' remix.
The awards however came with shockers for singing sensation Wizkid who fell in the Most Gifted African West Video category where his hit single Pakurumo had been nominated.
2Face, Naeto C and Mo'Cheddah also fell at their own nominations; Most Gifted R&B Video, Most Gifted African West Video and Most Gifted Female Video for songs Be there, I Gentle and See me respectively.
However, Chocolate City act BrymO, won the 'Most Gifted Pop' for his hit song 'Ara' and the award show's co-host Ice Prince, won the award for 'Most Gifted Hip Hop Video of the Year.'
New hit wonder; Davido also walked away with the 'Most Gifted New Comer of the Year' award, beating Kenya's Camp Mulla and Ghana's E.L, among others.
See the full winners list below...
Most Gifted African South Video of the Year
Cashtime Fam - Shut it down (Stundee)
Most Gifted Group or Featuring of the year
Psquare ft. May D & Akon - Chop My Money
Most Gifted Reggae Dance/Hall
Buffalo Souljah ft Cabo Snoop - Styra Inonyengesa
Most Gifted African East
AY feat Sauti Soul - I Don't Want to Be Alone
Most Gifted kwaito
Ees feat Mandoza - Ayoba
Most Gifted African West Music video
D-Black ft Mo'Cheddah - Falling
Most Gifted R&B Music Video of the year
Flavour ft. Tiwa Savage - Oyi [Remix]
Most Gifted AfroPop
BrymO - ARA
Most Gifted Hip Hop Video of the Year
Ice Prince Zamani- Superstar
Most Gifted Dance Music Video of the Year
DJ Cleo - Facebook
Most Gifted New Comer of the Year
Davido - Dami duro
Most Gifted Female Video of the Year
Zahara - Loliwe
Most Gifted Male Video of the Year
D'Banj - Oliver Twist
2012 Special Recognition award recipient

300 Nigerians deported from Botswana

About 300 Nigerians living in the Republic of Botswana have been deported back to Nigeria by the Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama administration in the past few months following refusal of the authorities to renew their permits.

Perturbed by their plight, the deportees have called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly to quickly look into the relationship between Bostwana and Nigeria in order to ascertain the true conditions of Nigerians living in that country.

The deportees, who said most of them had lived and worked in that Southern African country alleged that since General Khama, whose mother was of British origin and father a Motswana assumed office, Nigerians in that country had been subjected to dehumanising conditions and racial abuse even when they claimed they had been law-abiding and of good behavior.

Narrating their ordeal, Mr. Kingsley Ndubuisi from Anambra State, who returned to the country without his belongings in September, this year, alleged that all Nigerians whose permits expired were forcefully, deported leaving their property, wives and children behind.

"The most annoying of all the troubles Nigerians are facing in that country is the incessant stamping of (PI), meaning Prohibited Immigrant on the passport of Nigerian nationals by the Bostwana authorities; the implication is that such a person cannot enter Bostwana again,"Ndubuisi said.

Video - Conditions desperate for Nigerians displaced by violence

Violence that followed elections in northern Nigeria last year forced thousands of people to flee their homes. That was 18 months ago. But in Kaduna city, hundreds of people are still living in a camp in desperate conditions.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Nigeria beat Venezuela in football friendly

Ideye Brown and Igiebor Nosa scored in a five-minute span early in the second half to lead Nigeria past Venezuela 3-1 in an international friendly on Wednesday.

After both teams failed to convert multiple scoring opportunities in the first half, Nigeria broke through when Brown slotted his shot past goalkeeper Daniel Hernandez in the 48th minute, reports greenwhichtime.com.

Nosa made it 2-0 in the 53rd, landing an arcing 30-yard shot inside the right post.

Venezuela got a goal back when Frank Fleschcer scored in the 69th.

Nigeria's Onazi Ogenyi completed the scoring in stoppage time.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nigeria is second most corrupt country in the world according to poll

The perception of the Federal Government before Nigerians crashed further, as they rated the nation's leadership as the second most corrupt in the world, a Gallup poll just made public has revealed.

Gallup, in its first-ever report on "Global States of Mind: New Metrics for World Leaders," stated that 94 per cent of Nigerians believe there is widespread corruption in government.

The poll also showed that in the world, only Kenyans believed their government was more corrupt. The poll also revealed that about 96 per cent of Kenyans had alleged that there were widespread corruption in their government, while only five per cent of Singaporeans said their government was corrupt.

Singaporeans believe their country was the least corrupt in the world. Gallup said last year's revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt where GDP was rising, shows that world leaders need more than just GDP and other traditional economic metrics to run their countries.

Gallup Chairman and CEO, Jim Clifton, said: "Economic data are becoming less and less valuable because they tend to be outdated by the time they are made available. More significantly, GDP is less valuable because leaders now need to know much more than what people are spending-they need to know what they are thinking; GDP isn't enough if you are watching for instability."

"All institutes worldwide knew GDP was rising in Tunisia and Egypt. They knew what 11 million Tunisians and 80 million Egyptians were buying and selling-but they didn't know what they were thinking," Clifton added.

Clifton said GDP wasn't enough if leaders were trying to figure out the levels of hunger, hopelessness, or suffering, adding that the United Nations did not see those revolutions coming, neither did the World Economic Forum (WEF), nor the World Bank.

"The US spends tens of billions on intelligence- and it missed those revolutions too," Clifton said. Gallup's World Poll spans about 150 countries, territories, and areas, annually capturing what more than 98 per cent of the world's adult population is thinking on topics from basic needs to job creation. Gallup's World Poll data set now includes more than one million interviews conducted since the research initiative started in 2005.

Respondents were asked questions on law and order, food and shelter, institutions and infrastructure, good jobs, wellbeing, brain drain and quality GDP growth.


Related story: Nigeria ranks highest in the world in examination malpractice index

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Police drop case against alleged racist comments referee made to John Obi Mikel

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that it has dropped its investigation into complaints over alleged racist comments made by referee Mark Clattenburg.

The official had come under scrutiny after Chelsea duo John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata both raised complaints following the Blues 3-2 Premier League defeat to Manchester United last month.

However, Police have since stated that "without a victim and/or any evidence that any offence has been committed", there is no line of enquiry that can be pursued.

A statement from the Metropolitan Police read: "An investigation was launched into alleged comments made during a football match between Chelsea FC and Manchester United FC at Stamford Bridge on October 28, 2012.

"This follows on from a complaint received by the Metropolitan Police Service on October 29.

"Enquiries were made and no victims have come forward.

"If the situation changes and a victim and/or evidence to support an allegation of a crime comes to police attention then further enquiries will if appropriate be made."

Chelsea quickly dropped the Spaniard's allegation against the 37-year-old, although they have continued to support the Nigerian midfielder, with club chairman Bruce Bruck once again discussing the complaint on Tuesday.

"The reaction has been very unfair," he told the Evening Standard. "We weren't interested in any confrontation with the referee or anybody else, had no thoughts of revenge on the referee.

"We were guided by obligations that are imposed by the Football Association and also as an employer. FA rule E14 basically says a participant shall immediately report to the association any incident or matter which may be considered to be a misconduct.

"I spoke to the players involved, either because they were allegedly the recipient of that abuse or had heard it, three separate times. I asked them if they could be mistaken. I asked them, if they might have heard 'Mikel' instead of 'monkey'. I thought I had covered that base.

"[The decision] was made after a great deal of anguish and after talking long and hard that evening about what should we do.

Nigeria has the highest incidents of oil spills in the world

The Senate, yesterday, disclosed that Nigeria has the highest number of oil spill incidences among oil producing countries with no penalty regime attached to such oil spills.

It noted that the level of spills in the country was a reflection of the total disregard on our environment and the dignity of our people.

Declaring open a public hearing on National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, Amendment Bill 2012 in Abuja by Senate Joint Committee on Environment and Ecology, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Bukola Saraki, said oil spill had become an irresponsible environmental behaviour and reckless waste of the people’s wealth and benefit, adding that it was high time multinational oil companies in the country stopped oil spills.

Saraki said the move had become imperative against the backdrop of its devastating effect on the environment and livelihoods of the people, even as he lamented that the statistics of oil spills in the country was “shameful” while the impact on the environment is “offensive.”

He said that the Bill titled: “An Act to amend the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) establishment, etc, Act 2006 and for other matters connected therewith” was designed among others to redress the legal loopholes in the existing Act.

He said, ‘’Oil spill is ravaging our environment and has become one of the greatest threats to our sustainable development. This amendment Bill is a clarion call to us all, to put a stop to this.

‘’The statistics of oil spills in Nigeria is shameful; the impact on the environment is offensive. It can no longer be business as usual. Without a doubt, oil spillage is dealt with all over the world as an environmental issue and a human right issue that goes to the quality of the environment and the value of life of those impacted by spills.

‘’It is erroneous to continue to view oil spills as a necessary consequence of oil exploration.”

Senator Saraki who stressed that the Act setting up NOSDRA was presently deficient to meet current challenges posed by oil spill and at such a better legal framework was required, said, ‘’this bill seeks to cure the observed deficiency in the previous law by

tweaking the institutional framework for oil spill management and regulation to make it more efficient.

‘’Our objective is to reverse the ugly trend of endless spilling and devastation of our environment and the repugnant impact on our people.

‘’This bill seeks to make business more peaceful, the regulatory and governance system much clearer and predictable for all and achieve a more livable environment for our people.

‘’This bill also seeks to provide specific powers that will help deal with the regulatory confusion in the sector, which has pitched certain government agencies against one another and inhibited effective regulation.

‘’It is in the interest of all that we streamline this jurisdictional challenge and make it more economical for everyone involved in the causative chain of oil spill management to prevent spills as much as possible and where there is a spill, that our people are protected from bearing the economic and opportunity cost arising from same.

‘’Internationally, where there is a spill, the polluter pays for the cost and damage. But it is worrisome that in Nigeria whether an oil spill has been as a result of accident, operational failure, deliberate sabotage, negligence to take adequate measures or refusal to act there is as yet no legal mechanism or structure for determining mode of paying compensation or recovering damages.

‘’Rather we heap the brunt of the spill on the necks and shoulders of our citizens, whose livelihoods and opportunities are severely impacted by refusal to cleanup and remediate the environment.

‘’It is reprehensible to neglect or refuse to pay compensation for loss or damage from oil spill.

“It is irresponsible to characterize the damage to our country’s invaluable coastal economies, wildlife habitats, and overall coastal livelihoods from oil spills as collateral damage. This bill has as one of its objectives that must be met, to create a realistic framework for compensation for damages and cost.”

Senator Saraki who noted that because of lack of penalties and cost framework, much of the spills in the past have been largely been “ignored, neglected and in most cases never cleaned up or the sites remediated. “Little wonder then that several expert report and testimonies have acknowledged that some of the spills of over 40 years ago had not been cleaned or remediated till date.

“To continue to allow this to persist will be a major dereliction of duty on our part. This bill represents our statement of intent that we will no longer tolerate this state of affairs; responsible parties will no longer be allowed to pass the bulk.”

Declaring open the Public Hearing, Senate President David Mark who was represented by Senate Minority Whip, Senator Abu Ibrahim, Katsina said that it has become crucial to pass the bill as that would put in place a holistic framework to manage the environment, adding that that the country cannot afford to down play the impact of the oil spills.

Shola Ameobi excited to play for Nigeria

After getting his international clearance to appear for the Nigerian national team, Shola Ameobi has revealed his excitement at getting the call to play against Venezuela on Wednesday in an international friendly match.

"I'm really excited about it and hopefully I can go and meet up with the rest of the guys and see where we go from here," Ameobi told the Daily Mail.

"My focus right now is getting through this week and really looking forward to the game next weekend against Swansea," he added.

The 31-year old also revealed his lingering desire to make an international career.

"You'd be a fool if you didn't want to play at the very highest level and certainly I'm no fool.

"I want to play at the top as every other player does - that's what drives me and that's why I'm still here wanting to play in the Premier League.

"Newcastle United will always be No 1 for me, that is the bread and butter so that is something we'll look at.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ambassador to Mali raises alarm over trafficking of Nigerian girls

The Nigerian Ambassador to Mali, Mr Iliya Nuhu, has raised the alarm over the high rate of trafficking of Nigerian girls to the West African country.

Nuhu said in Bamako, the Malian capital, that the problem had grown in 'magnitude and sophistication' to the extent that a substantial number of Nigerians in Mali seem to be thriving on it.

He described the practice as 'a kind of modern-day slavery' with Nigerians going to their villages or towns to bring in young girls between the ages of 10 and 15.

He said the traffickers were taking advantage of Nigeria's economic problems to lure their victims with promises of setting them up in 'very lucrative businesses abroad'.

"These people (traffickers) tell them about businesses which are not there, and these girls, with very loose parental upbringing, fall for their tricks.

"They go to Nigeria to source for these girls and sell them off to their cronies, not only in Mali but in other countries; but we are able to work, in cooperation with these countries, to map out the routes the traffickers follow.

"Since August, we have assisted no fewer than 30 of these girls to return to the country and this is a daily routine that the embassy and the staff go through.

He further noted that an average of 20 to 30 girls were being trafficked into Mali everyday and that those the Nigerian embassy official retrieve were those who cry out for help.

Nuhu said the embassy was working with the police in Mali on how to identify the traffickers, adding that he had written a memo to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja, to work out a strategy to solve the problem.

"We, however, call on the Federal Government to work with NAPTIP or take appraisal of what they are doing and see if there are gaps to be filled so that they can have the capacity to do this job.

"NAPTIP also should be able to have the necessary information through their own network to able to follow up these routes and study the mode of operation of the traffickers and beat them to it," he added

Friday, November 9, 2012

Nigeria is fourth best in global peacekeeping

The Nigerian Army last night said as the fourth-best military in global peacekeeping operation, it has no difficulties moving to Mali to restore peace there.

In a reaction to a news story by The Guardian of London newspaper, Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Army, Col. Mohammed Yerima, told THISDAY that the story was intended by the newspaper to diminish "the successes recorded by Nigeria in peacekeeping operations."

The Guardian had alleged that the state of the Nigerian Army has delayed plans for a military intervention in Mali.

It also claimed that the country's army lacks the capability to fight on the frontline.

But Yerima said the story was a complete underestimation of the strength of the Nigerian Armed Forces and what the service could do.

He said: "I read the story. At first, I was to issue an official reaction. But I dropped the idea, because the news story was foolish. The newspaper deliberately turned truth on its head."

He further said: "There is no force on the West African sub-region that can match Nigeria's capability. We restored peace in both Liberia and Sierra-Leone. We are at the moment maintaining peace in parts of the country.

"Our training programmes are going on as scheduled and we also have modern equipment, as an army," Yerima added.

He advised foreign media organisations to seek clarification about Nigeria's military capability to avoid misleading the world.

He also reiterated Nigeria's standpoint on global peace and added that the country's armed forces are ready and capable of effective peace operations in any part of the sub-region.

The newspaper had reported that Nigerian army's Mali mission had been stalled following doubts of its operational capability.

According to the story, "A senior source in Mali told The Guardian that a lack of training and discipline among Nigerian troops - who are being heavily relied on by regional bloc Ecowas to oust Islamists in control of northern Mali - is becoming increasingly apparent.

"The Nigerian army is in a shocking state. In reality there is no way they are capable of forward operations in Mali - their role is more likely to be limited to manning checkpoints and loading trucks.

"The Nigerian forces lack training and kit, so they simply don't have the capability to carry out even basic military manoeuvres. They have poor discipline and support. They are more likely to play a behind-the-scenes role in logistics and providing security."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Video - Interview with the directors of Nigerian boarding school movie ZR-7

The directors of the critically acclaimed first Nigerian boarding school movie ZR-7 The Red House Seven, give insight on making the film.

ZR-7 tells the classic life of boarding school adventure involving TJ with six of his friends (Rolly-D, Chiedu, UK, Tokunbo, Femi & James) while in JSS 1 (7th grade). The boys are initially shocked by all the hoops they have to jump in order to survive teachers, prefects, wicked seniors, dining hall food, thieves, cutting grass, washing toilets, puppy love and all the other regular experiences anyone in a public Nigerian boarding school would experience. But when TJ and the boys accidentally see a man and two female students in an uncompromising position, what they do with that information is not their only problem in school, but the resulting scandal would change their lives far beyond their wildest dreams.

Written and Directed by Olufemi D. Ogunsanwo & Udoka Oyeka

Director Of Photography Bishop C. Kagho Idhebor

Editor Chidi Nwaozomudoh




Related story: Video - Nigerian boarding school movie ZR-7 now available on DVD 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Video - Where is the rule of law in Nigeria

The tactics Nigeria's security forces are using to fight Boko Haram are just making the insurgency worse. That is what Amnesty International says in a report released on Thursday. The report titled Nigeria: Trapped in the Cycle of Violence accuses the security forces of summary executions, torture and detention without trial. It also documents Boko Haram's atrocities, including its systematic targeting of civilians.

Osaze Odemwingie quits national team

Osaze Odemwingie has decided not to don the green jersey of Nigeria again according to Super Eagles manager, Stephen Keshi.

Keshi revealed that the highly rated striker will no longer be a part of the national team following the player's disenchantment with previous regimes.

Odemwingie last played for the Super Eagles in February in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification game against Rwanda in Kigali.

The West Brom forward then became injured and has not featured for the side since then. He was invited to play against Liberia last month but declined and the coach has now revealed that the 31-year-old has said he will no longer play for his country.

"I spoke to Odemwingie before the Liberia game and he told me that he had decided not to play for Nigeria anymore," Keshi told Supersport.com.

"He told me that he has no problems with me as a person and that he took his decision even before I assumed position as national team coach."

Odemwingie has had a history of falling out with national team coaches.

He publicly criticised the tactics of Amodu Shuaibu after the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.

Later, he blamed Swedish trainer Lars Lagerback for the country's early defeat in South Africa 2010. He also infamously had a spat with Samson Siasia through his Twitter account.

"He said he was unhappy at how he was treated in the past in the national team. He explained that prior to Nigeria's participation at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he played in all the qualifying games but was dropped at the finals," said Keshi.

"He said he was angry at the treatment meted out to him but did not discuss it with anyone. I told him that was not the best way to handle issues and that if he had already decided not to play for the national team, he should have opened up to me when I invited him to play."

However Keshi believes Odemwingie still has a future with the national team.

"I told him that he has to give me the room to work with him; for us to work together and if he does not like the way I work and the atmosphere in the camp, then he can decide to stop playing," Keshi said.

"Deciding that you don't want to play for Nigeria because of what happened in the past is not the best. I understand his feelings. I think he might change his mind but I really don't know. The ball is in his court."

Ribadu's report states government stole N51 billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation

The Federal Government illegally took N51 billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to finance sundry projects including buying a presidential jet and sponsorship of Nigeria's participation in the World Cup, the Ribadu committee report has said.

A copy of the final report which was submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday shows that the Federal Government has been dipping its hands into the coffers of the NNPC, thereby placing unnecessary burden on the corporation.

Some of the monies collected from the corporation, according to the report, were N2.23 billion by the Presidency for the purchase of a presidential chopper, and N19.87 billion to finance of a project called PICOMSS Phase 1 on behalf of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security.

Also collected were N11.47 billion for the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology for a project called "RTCom - Galaxy Backbone", and another N4.1 billion for the same ministry for financing "Skill G-Science and technology."

The report said the Federal Government directed NNPC to pay N866.2 million for the sponsorship of World Cup, although there was no much detail on the sponsorship.

Also on the illegal expenses list is the payment of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) bills for some government buildings. The report said as at December 2011, government owed NNPC about N6.4billion as outstanding debt.

It said there was a N2.42 billion transaction between the Federal Government and the Royal Swaziland Sugar Company which the NNPC was asked to finance.

Also, NNPC on the directives of the Presidency gave the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) a loan of 798.6 million which is yet to be repaid.

The Federal Government further took a N700 million loan from the NNPC for Sao Tome and Principe, as well as another N673 million for the start-up operation of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board.

NNPC also paid N563 million on government's directive for the storage cost on illegal bunkering, with additional N521 million to settle some expenses incurred by Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The corporation paid N250 million legal expenses in a case between the Petroleum ministry and the South Atlantic, and N128 million to settle the wind energy project carried out by Lahmeye International for the Science and Technology ministry.

The Petroleum Revenue Task Force report was submitted to the President on Friday amidst controversy when two members rejected its findings.

But committee chairman Nuhu Ribadu insisted that the panel did its homework and that the dissenting members--Steve Oronsaye and Bernard Otii--were compromised with government appointments.

Yesterday, Ribadu said in a post on Facebook: "I have made my choice to stand with the Nigerian people, to place national interest before any other. Knowing that a good name is better than silver and gold."

Friday, November 2, 2012

Video - William sisters show off dancing skills on visit to Nigeria

Venus and Serena Williams dance with a group of kids during their trip to Nigeria to promote women's rights.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Video - Nigeria outlaws accusing children of witchcraft

The Nigerian state of Akwa Ibom has introduced a law that makes it illegal to accuse children of withcraft and sorcery. The state has spent significant amounts of money to aid the hundreds of Nigerian children that had been branded withches in Akwa Ibom for years. But some say churches in the impoverished state where unemployment is rampant, must also be reigned in. Some activists cite the churches as the source of the belief that children are sorecerers or witches.