Monday, November 26, 2012
Appeals for leniency failed to move a Texas judge who delivered a harsh sentence of 80 years behind bars for Nigerian-American Jessica Tata, convicted in the death of a child killed in a fire at her home day care in Houston, Texas.
Eight witnesses testified for Tata in the punishment phase of the trial on Friday. Twenty two witnesses testified for the prosecution, alleging that she ran an unclean facility where dirty diapers and vomit were strewn on the floor. The deceased child, 16-month-old Elias Castillo, succumbed to a fire ignited when Tata went shopping and left a pan of oil cooking on the stove.
5 Trillion Naira Stolen Under President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration | Transparency International Advices Nigeria against Corruption
This amount is the summation of government funds said to have been stolen, according to the Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Task Force report; the Minister of Trade and Investment's report on stolen crude; the House of Representatives fuel subsidy report and investigations into the ecological fund, SIM card registration and frequency band spectrum sale.
The investigation revealed the fraudulent activities carried out on a large scale in some ministries. The Ribadu report on the oil and gas sector for instance, put daily crude oil theft at a high 250,000 barrels daily at a cost of $6.3bn (N1.2trn) a year. This puts the total amount lost through oil theft in the two years of Jonathan's government at over $12.6bn (N2trn).
Another fraud scheme was discovered in July 2012 when the House of Representatives Committee on Environment discovered a tree seedling fraud worth N2bn awarded by the Ecological Fund office.
Similarly, in the telecommunications sector, the 450MHz frequency, which was valued at over $50m, was allegedly sold for less than $6m (a difference of $44m or N6.9bn) by the Nigeria Communications Commission. In the same sector, the reps, earlier this year, commenced investigations into the N6.1bn SIM card registration project embarked upon by the NCC in 2011.
Reacting to the massive frauds that have greeted Jonathan's tenure, Transparency International, in an email to Punch said that Nigeria would continue to slack in development as long as it keeps paying lip service to the fight against corruption.
"President Jonathan should insist that those accused of corruption are properly investigated and punished if found guilty, irrespective of their positions and connections. The judiciary must be seen as impartial and fair.
"To signal a break with the past, the government should set up an independent investigatory panel to review charges of corruption within government and the private sector. President Jonathan should endorse the panel and commit to ensure it has both the scope and the power to investigate and prosecute.
"This is not just a matter of justice; fighting corruption can affect the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. The current culture of corruption hurts the majority of Nigerians while the inequality gap widens."
This report is coming just days after KPMG, a global audit and financial advisory firm, stated that Nigeria accounted for the highest number of fraud cases in Africa in the first half of 2012.
It is our hope that such reports like this would make the government take the fight against corruption more seriously.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry could be on his way back to the north London club for another spell on loan from New York Red Bulls in January, according to manager Arsene Wenger.
Gabriel Aubry was arrested Thanksgiving morning after a melee at Halle Berry’s house, which sent both Gabriel and Halle’s fiance Olivier Martinez to the hospital … TMZ has learned.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … Gabriel showed up at Halle’s doorstep with Nahla for a custodial hand-off. We’re told Gabriel was inside the house when Olivier walked up to him and said, “We have to move on.”
According to witnesses, Gabriel then pushed Olivier and threw a punch at his face, but Olivier blocked it and the punch struck him in the shoulder instead. We’re told Gabriel then pushed Olivier to the ground, and Olivier cold-cocked him in the face, and a struggle ensued, ending with Olivier pinning Gabriel to the ground.
In the struggle, Gabriel suffered a broken rib, contusions on his face, and possibly a more serious head injury. Olivier may have broken his hand and suffered neck injuries as well. There are conflicting accounts as to whether Gabriel was rendered unconscious in the fight.
Police were called and Olivier made a citizen’s arrest for battery against Gabriel. Gabriel was escorted to the ER and, ironically, Olivier went to the same ER an hour later. The two were just down the hall from each other.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … a judge has issued an emergency protective order, which requires Gabriel to stay 100 yards away from Halle, Olivier, and Nahla.
And finally, there’s this … specifics about the argument between Gabriel and Olivier are sketchy because they were trash talking each other in French.
It’s pretty shocking — considering Gabriel was out with Nahla just last night for a movie date at the Grove
Friday, November 23, 2012
Name: Isabella Agbor Ojong Ayuk
Home Town: Cross River
Isabella was raised in Ikom Local Government Area of the Cross River State. It is a largely agricultural area. Being raised by a widowed mother, Isabella has a passion for working with widows. She would love to work to create a small scale business to help raise money for scholarships for their children, home renovations and other basic needs.
In her Own Words
I want the judges to know that determination brought me this far and that I have learned to never give up in life.
Fun Facts about Isabella
- She loves to cook
- Isabella admires Angelina Jolie for her humanitarian services
- Isabella is currently in the National Youth Service Corp in Nigeria
The 34-year-old requested special permission to join another club outside the international transfer window to maintain his fitness levels ahead of the African Cup of Nations, which starts on 19 January in South Africa.
However, FIFA upheld its rules in previous cases when making Major League Soccer players David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan wait until January to make loan moves.
FIFA said in a statement: "We can confirm that the player Didier Drogba submitted a request for authorisation to be registered outside an open registration period for a club on a loan basis.
"FIFA has informed him about the relevant regulations... that players may only be registered during one of the two annual registration periods fixed by the relevant association."
FIFA said the only exception was when a player's contract expired outside a transfer window.
A security source in Bichi local government area of Kano State told SaharaReporters that about three persons have been killed in a religious violence that erupted this morning in an area outside Kano city.
According to the source, crisis erupted over allegations that one Christian entered a market in the area wearing a fabric that has some signs that some Muslims in the area considered blasphemous to Prophet Mohammed.
The source also said that many houses and business premises were burnt down while many non-Muslims in Bichi fled for fear of being attacked by irate youths in the area.
Nigerian troops of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and policemen drafted from the Kano State Police Command have been brought to the area to restore law and order.
The police authorities said they are yet to determine the exact number of those killed or injured in the crisis.
Djimon Hounsou confirmed the divorce in a statement he issued via his representative. And Kimora confirmed the news on Twitter.
“There have been quite a few hurtful rumors circulating. The truth is Djimon and I have been separated for some time,”
“We have remained happy, loving, co-parenting friends and family. We all have much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving” she tweeted
The two married in 2008 and have a 3 ½ year-old son Kenzo Lee Hounsou. Kimora has two daughters with former husband-Russell Simmons.
Now the only building left standing, the five storey block is a strange sight as cars drive around it while the couple remain living inside.
To ensure the couple’s safety, adjacent rooms in the building have been left intact but all their neighbours have moved out.
Earlier this year, Hong Chunqin, 75, and her husband Kung, who live in the two dilapidated buildings with their two sons, had initially agreed to sell the property in Taizhou, in Zhejiang province and accepted £8,000 in compensation. But then she changed her mind and refunded the money once work on the road had started.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has alerted President Goodluck Jonathan to a looming acute fuel shortage if the Federal Government fails to pay N1.13trn subsidy owed it (NNPC).
The NNPC top management, led by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and the corporation’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, reportedly made this known to Jonathan at a recent meeting.
Our correspondent learnt that team told the President that the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had failed to pay the debt.
At the meeting, the corporation was said to have hinged its capacity to continue the importation of fuel on the payment of the debt which had accumulated over the months.
The NNPC, The PUNCH learnt, told the President that fuel might disappear from filling stations across the country if government failed to pay the debt. This is in addition to the fear that the N971bn subsidy provision in the 2013 budget is seen as grossly inadequate.
“Yes, we have made a presentation to the President. We are waiting for his response because it (payment of the subsidy claim) is very imperative for our capacity to import fuel ,” a source at the NNPC, who was privy to discussion at the meeting told one of our correspondents.
Alison-Madueke and the NNPC management were said to have requested for the meeting with the President after their failed attempts to make Okonjo-Iweala pay the subsidy claim.
The corporation has remained the only importer of fuel since the controversy over the payment of subsidy claims to importers commenced. Oil marketers have refused to import the product because the government has declined to pay some claims which the government described as spurious.
Attempts to speak with the NNPC Acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs , Mr. Fidel Pepple, on the meeting with the President proved abortive as he did not answer his telephone calls. He also failed to respond to text messages sent to his phone on the matter.
However, Pepple in June had confirmed in an interview with Reuters that the organisation owed N1.13trn in subsidy arrears.
He had said, “As at the end of May 2012, NNPC had unpaid claims of N1.134trn.
“We are concerned about the shortages but just to put it on record, NNPC has been the only organisation importing products since January when the fuel subsidy issue began.”
Okonjo-Iweala’s Senior Special Assistant on Communications, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, did not pick his call either. He also did not respond to a text message sent to his mobile phone on why the ministry had not paid the subsidy claims.
Oil marketers under the Jetty and Petroleum Tank Farm Owners have however faulted the N971bn budgeted for the subsidy in the 2013 fiscal year.
The group said the amount would not be enough to guarantee adequate supply of petroleum products.
via @Punch Nigeria
Aside top celebrities and stakeholders in the showbiz industry billed for the evening, delectable
Nollywood queens, Genevieve Nnaji and Stephanie Okereke-Linus, who featured in the movie, are expected to grace the yellow carpet in style, alongside other cast. For now, it has not been confirmed if their Hollywood counterparts in the movie such as Isaiah Washington, Vivica A. Fox, Jimmy Jean Louis, Victor Browne, Ebby Bassey, Bern Cohen and others will be at the Lagos event.
The Nigeria screening is a follow up to the star-studded première at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Washington DC, United States, where movie freaks got the opportunity to be among the first set of people to see the movie.
“This is Nollywood, which is basically Nigerian filmmaking combined with Hollywood. It’s important for us to reach across the pond to combine our two talents because I have a feeling that Hollywood doesn’t allow African-American actors and actresses the roles that we should be playing. I play Isaiah Washington’s wife, and we lost our daughter to cancer in the film, which then sends him out on a crusade to cure cancer. I’ve known Isaiah for over 25 years and we had never gotten an opportunity to work together,” star actress Vivica Fox said at the Washington DC premiere.
In a chat with the co-producer of the movie, Tunde MacAlabi, he informed that NEXIM Bank provided part funding for Doctor Bello, while the production team sourced the remaining fund.
“There has been conflicting reports in the media over the exact amount provided by NEXIM. Let me make it clear that NEXIM gave us $250,000 for the production; we sourced the remaining part of the fund privately. Today, we are glad to bring the movie home. This is the first Nigerian movie to be premiered in multiple countries,” MacAlabi noted.
Meanwhile, Doctor Bello will open screening at the African International Diaspora Film Festival in New York, on 23 November, before heading for London, at the Greenwich Odeon on 30 November. It will be the turn of Johannesburg to see the movie on 6 December, at the Fringe, Jo’burg Theatre, while plans are afoot to take the movie to other parts of the globe.
Kweku Adoboli, the UBS trader who gambled away $2.3 billion, painted himself as a model employee who fell victim to the turmoil of the markets in his quest to impress the bank he loved.
Fresh-faced and elegantly-dressed, the Ghanaian-born trader, 32, regularly broke down in tears during his two month trial in London, insisting he thought of Switzerland’s biggest bank as his “family”.
But a jury convicted him of two counts of fraud on Tuesday, while clearing him of four counts of false accounting.
Adoboli’s early life was spent shuttling between countries because of his father’s job as a United Nations official.
After spells in Ghana, Israel and Syria, he was sent to Ackworth School, a small Quaker boarding school in northern England.
“He was an able student who made a very positive contribution to the school community,” his headteacher Kathryn Bell recalled.
He went on to study e-commerce and digital business studies at Nottingham University in central England and secured an internship at UBS, which offered him a full-time job after he graduated in 2003.
Adoboli rose swiftly through the ranks, joining the exchange traded funds (ETF) desk in 2006, dealing with funds whose value rises and falls depending on the performance of the markets they track.
By 2007, he and another more senior trader were managing a portfolio worth $50 billion.
It might seem “crazy” that a 26-year-old with just five years’ experience was in charge of such a huge portfolio, Adoboli told the jury, but “that’s how it was”.
He described how he would wake up at 3:00 am to monitor the financial markets around the world, and regularly stayed in the office until after 9:00 pm. Twice, things were so hectic in the office that he slept under his desk.
“UBS was my family, and every single thing I did was for them,” he told the court.
With a six-figure salary, a love of fine wines and a huge, ultra-modern apartment to host his all-night parties, Adoboli seemed like any other young man who had struck gold in one of the world’s most powerful financial centres.
But unbeknown to friends and colleagues, he had quietly begun conducting off-the-book trades in 2008, holding them off the ledger until the market rebounded.
“His motive was to be known as a star trader at UBS,” said Perry Stokes of the City of London Police, who led the investigation against Adoboli.
“To increase his bonus, his status, his job prospects, and his ego.”
A friend jokingly compared Adoboli to Jerome Kerviel, the French trader who brought the Societe Generale bank to the brink of collapse by gambling away 4.9 billion euros ($6.3 billion).
The email exchange, from 2008, was read out in court. “The more I have read about this, the more interesting parallels I see with your life,” the friend unwittingly wrote.
“Please don’t let me read about you in the papers in the same fashion.”
At first, Adoboli’s strategy seemed to work.
Prosecutors said he earned $90 million for UBS and its clients by May 2011 and the bank rewarded him with massive bonus increases, rising from £15,000 in 2008 to £250,000 in 2010.But as the eurozone debt crisis savaged the markets, his luck ran out.
He was forced to spin a complex web of fictitious transactions to hide the losses, and UBS colleagues were increasingly asking him about discrepancies in his trades.
A final post on his Facebook page on September 6, nine days before he was arrested, read: “Need a miracle.”
On September 14, a back office accountant received the “bombshell” email in which Adoboli confessed that UBS was exposed to colossal losses resulting from his unauthorised trades.
He was hauled in for questioning, and arrested at the bank in the early hours of the next morning. His arrest in September wiped 10 percent off the bank’s share price.
“The amount of money involved was staggering, impacting hugely on the bank but also on their employees, shareholders and investors,” said Andrew Penhale, deputy head of fraud at the Crown Prosecution Service.
During the trial, he insisted that what he had done did not make him a “rogue trader”.
“It is not fraudulent — it is finding a way to do your job,” he told the court.
On Tuesday, a London court found him guilty and jailed him seven years.
“There is a strong streak of the gambler in you,” judge Brian Keith told Adoboli as he sentenced him. “You were arrogant to think the bank’s rules for traders did not apply to you.
“The tragedy for you is that you had everything going for you.
“Your fall from grace as a result of these convictions is spectacular.”
The judge said Adoboli would serve half his sentence before being released on licence.
Adoboli wiped away tears as he was sentenced. He had admitted the losses but denied any wrongdoing.
During the two-month trial he claimed senior managers were fully aware of his activities and encouraged him to take risks to make profits for UBS.
Chelsea Football Club can confirm Rafael Benitez has been appointed interim first-team manager until the end of the season. The owner and the Board believe that in Benitez we have a manager with significant experience at the highest level of football, who can come in and immediately help deliver our objectives.
The 52-year-old Spaniard is due to meet the players at the training ground in Cobham tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
With high sales on her newly released Unapologetic album, the singer is set to have the No. 1 record in the United States, thanks to the popular track and a few other rising singles. "Happy WORLDWIDE #UNAPOLOGETICDAY!!! Thank everybody around the world who's supporting this album. I couldn't be more ecstatic about this," she tweeted.
The pop songstress just wrapped her 777 tour, which hit seven countries in seven days to promote her new album. While it's being called a press fiasco, the Unapologetic star still enjoyed herself and apologized to her tour guests.
"I know you guys barely got any dirt…But I had to be good. I still sound like sh—," Rih told the disgruntled scribes at the end of the trek. "It's impossible to spend time with everybody, and I’m sorry I didn’t. But this was excellent and I would definitely do it again."
Exodus 23: 25-26
henever Jesus was asked a pertinent question, He always referred to the beginning. It is necessary therefore to track God’s design for man’s health from the beginning. God created man from two dimensions; He formed man’s body from the soil and then He breathed into man the breath of life. Man then became a living soul. Man’s body was taken from the soil whereas his spirit was carved out of God. The life force that God released into man was so powerful that it animated the soil. Man was designed to function by the life force that emanates from God.
Life exists at different levels and it is God that gives life to everything. Plants have a kind of life, animals also and man has his own kind of life too. However, the quality of life that drives a thing determines its intelligence. There is a quality of life that flows in God and it is called ‘Zoe’ or translated ‘Eternal Life’ in the New Testament.
After man sinned, still God made a provision for man to relate with Him; He introduced the blood covenant. In the blood covenant, two lives are mixed together as one. We will not find any record of Abraham falling sick because he had a blood covenant relationship with God. The power of this covenant broke the power of barrenness over his life. This covenant was passed on to the descendants of Abraham. The Israelites enjoyed a change of status when the covenant was engaged; the old Israelite died while a new one resurrected. Free they walked out of Egypt; healthy and wealthy.
Now, it behoves us to adjust our thinking and stop believing that it is normal to be sick. In Christ, it is no longer normal to be sick; we can live sickness free. Christ has done on our behalf all that is needed to be healthy. When Christ died we died; the old us qualified for the worst died and when Christ was raised from the death we were raised also. Let’s admit the ‘Zoe Life’ is flowing in us after accepting Christ as our Lord and Saviour. This life has the capacity to consume sicknesses, diseases and death. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5: 17
Serena Williams, ace tennis player was spotted enjoying the sun in the showed Bahamas a few weeks after leaving Nigeria.
Her incredible figure looked perfect in a couple of swimwear shots as she flirted with the camera.
With a body like that, who needs Common?
Rank Name Net Worth ($mil) Age
1. Aliko Dangote $12, 000 55
2. Nicky Oppenheimer & family $6, 400 67
3. Johann Repert & family $5, 700 62
4. Nassef Sawiris $5, 500 51
5. Mike Adenuga $4, 600 59
6. Christoffel Wiese $3, 700 71
7. Othman Benjelloun $2, 750 80
8. Patrice Motsepe $2,650 50
9. Naguib Sawiris $2, 500 58
10. Mohammed Mansour $2, 200 64
Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with Manager Roberto Di Matteo.
The team's recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season.The club faces a difficult task ahead in qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League as well as maintaining a strong challenge for the top of the Premier League while competing in three other cup competitions. Our aim is to remain as competitive as possible and challenge strongly on all fronts.
The owner and the Board would like to thank Roberto for all he has done for the club since taking over in March. Roberto helped guide us to an historic Champions League victory and a seventh FA Cup. We will never forget the huge contribution he has made to this club's history and he will always be welcome at Stamford Bridge.
The club will be making an announcement shortly regarding a new first team manager.Is this not the same coach that helped them win the Champions league last season? This Roman Abramovich head no correct sha. There are rumours that Rafa Benitez is being lined up to replace Roberto Di Matteo at Chelsea. Do you support the sack?
“About my marriage, it has been going through crisis which I prefer not to talk about that is why I have kept it away from the public to wave off controversies. I am no longer in my marriage; we are separated. I have two wonderful children – a ten year old daughter and a seven year old son. They are an integral part of my life; their mum and I have a very good arrangement on how to balance their lives to make sure that psychologically they are stable and unaffected by our separation.”
Monday, November 19, 2012
Nigeria's efforts can be viewed as a laboratory for other countries--not just resource-rich developing countries like Nigeria, but any country interested in reining in debt, managing volatility, saving for the future, or building credibility with debtors and investors. This story of development economics in action, written from the front lines of economic reform in Africa, offers a unique perspective on the complex and uncertain global economic environment.