Tuesday, July 31, 2007

News Desk Tuesday, July 31, 2007

FG Shifts Foreign Policy Focus to Nigerians

LAGOS — FOREIGN Affairs Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, said yesterday that henceforth, Nigeria’s foreign policy would focus on the welfare of Nigerians while also ensuring the protection of Africa’s interest. MORE>>

Court Seizes 6 Alams' Firms

LAGOS — SIX companies belonging to former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, were yesterday confiscated and ordered to be wound-up by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, while their assets running into billions of naira were ordered sold and the proceeds paid into the state government's account. MORE>>

Reporter, Others Probe how Britain Influenced Rigging in Nigeria

A British Broadcasting Corporation report claims that British colonial masters helped rig Nigeria’s pre-independence elections to ensure that a pro-United Kingdom party won. Mike Thomson, a former reporter with the UK’s Sky News, The Daily Mail and several other international media carried out the investigation, the BBC radio, reported on Monday. MORE>>

Uwazuruike, Risk to National Security

THE Federal Government on Monday told a Federal High Court in Abuja that it would be dangerous to release the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) on bail, because he allegedly posed a serious risk to national security. MORE>>

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Naija Bloggers and Personal Revelations.



I was just curious about bloggers and what is it they do online penning their stories regarding personal issues--their interest, purpose and ambition--and why blogging has been a medium from around which they express their feelings of life's journey to how they end up with personal revelations rather than using a diary or journal to take note of daily activities relating to their personal lives.

Browsing through the Internet and Googling on Naija bloggers, one could always muse about how blogging as therapy has changed people's lives as revelations from one topic to another on a things to do sort of way, that people are finding blogging as a way of life to let out what bothers them since the Internet nature of blogging gives readers a more personal stake and a sense of connection to a writer.

Blogs now function as online personal diaries which makes the said subject-matter quite interesting and fascinating. I did stumble into Anaedo's Periscope whose last entry was on Saturday, May 5, 2007 has in its home page Rod Serling's quote: "Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull." Anaedo's admonition equally shows he is a frustrated writer and decided to pen his emotional constipation in his blog. What a way to go and how blogging is lifting the spirits of those who got trapped in some kind of emotional mess. But, hey, man, that radio station is jamming, and I believe your sorrows will be gone with all that vibe.

In Adaure Achumba's Weblogazine, she writes practically about everything that comes her way including her own personal experience. I think this North Carolina bred girl really has something going on for her, now that she runs errands and getting paid for Ben Murray Bruce' Silverbird Group way down in Eko. Achumba who aspires to have her own news talk show one day has given her readers a kick and the fun is quite amazing. Go on, girl! Good for you!

Enter Frances Uku's Blog. According to her profile, she recently graduated from Havard University's American Repetory Institute now working in Los Angeles and getting paid sometimes to tell stories. I find her blog quite engaging, especially as versatile and committed to her career in theatre arts. Her blog tells a whole lot about her, from storytelling to her day to day runnings in the Los Angeles area. Keep on keeping on, that's all I can say, and keep the vibes for your readers blasting.

In Kingsley Duru's Blog, he wants his readers to pay attention to good home cooking as he provides the recipe for all sort of Naija-related dishes who acknowledges blogging is his "latest catch." Not much to say here but to hope that one day this ambitious man would be awarded a Michellin Star for preparing tasty dishes.

Ugo Daniel's Blog quotes William James as his source of inspiration as he also inspires others to plunge into personal territory revealing their innermost selves describing himself as "imaginative and sensitive, compassionate, kind, selfless and unwordly; intuitive and sympathetic highly skilfull and intelligent independent." Wow! That's some serious stuff, and hey, man, don't give up.

Last but not the least of bloggers who have found comfort in revealing what troubles them the most is Eyan's Nyjaguy Blog which opens with R. Kelly's "Go Getta" blasting out loud, playing over and over again as an indication something is really troubling this young kid. Nyjaguy is "Just thinking out loud." He writes: "Just an immigrant in US with positive attitude towards life. Here thinking out loud about sex, Nigeria, love, religion, spirituality, family, history, gadgets, sports, credit, technology, hobbies, politics, Africa, jokes, relationships, finance, money, investments, Nigerians in the Diaspora and so on and so forth."

Of course, he feels more comfortable putting himself out there telling the world something is amiss in his life and he will go get it. So too, are thousands of bloggers out there who feels the same like Nyjaguy and they would "Go Getta!"

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

News Desk Thursday, July 26, 2007

Yayale Heads Defense, Maduekwe, Foreign Affairs - as Yar'Adua Swears in Ministers Today

ABUJA — IMMEDIATE past head of the Federal Civil Service, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, may emerge Defence Minister when President Umaru Yar’Adua inaugurates his cabinet today in Abuja. He is from Bauchi State.
Vanguard gathered last night that other high profile cabinet posts may be assigned as follows: MORE>>

Commissioner Accuses Kalu of Operating Foreign Accounts

ABUJA — A FORMER Commissioner in Abia State, Mr. Moses Agoh, has put more heat on former Governor Orji Kalu, accusing him of running the state treasury like a “family account.” Agoh who served as Commissioner for Finance under Kalu in a confessional statement to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleged that Kalu had substantial interest in banks in The Gambia, Liberia and Sierra-Leone, and that EFCC’s allegations against Kalu were correct. MORE>>

Out To Kill The Sun

Since the media reported Wednesday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has obtained an interim forfeiture order against the various assets of embattled former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, currently being prosecuted by the commission, including The Sun Publishing Limited, we have been inundated with sometimes highly emotional enquiries from all over the world. MORE>>

APGA Crisis: Umeh Urges Police To Arrest Iwu, Okorie

The lingering crisis in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has taken a new turn as the party’s Chairman, Victor Umeh, has petitioned the Inspector General Of Police (IGP), Mike Okiro, urging him to investigate and prosecute both the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Maurice Iwu, and former Chairman of the party, Chekwas Okorie, for criminal offences bothering on forgery and altering of documents to obtain leadership of the party. MORE>>

Orji Kalu Knows Fate Tomorrow

A FEDERAL High Court judge, Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako would decide tomorrow whether or not to admit immediate past governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu to bail. Kalu is accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of allegedly laundering N2.7 billion belonging to the state for which a 107 count charge is levied by the anti-corruption agency. MORE>>

Yar'Adua Heads Energy Ministry

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, like former president Olusegun Oba-sanjo, may preside over the Ministry of Energy, THISDAY has learnt. The Energy ministry will comprise Petroleum Reso-urces, Power and Steel, under the restructuring and rationalisation of ministries done by the former president. MORE>>

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

That Beckham Chelsea-Galaxy Exhibition Game

Without a doubt, David Beckham is not the greatest soccer player. Without a doubt, Beckham is overrated. Without a doubt, Beckham's $6.5 million a year contract with Los Angeles Galaxy has begun to sell all sorts of Bechham's gear at prices one could not even imagine. And without a doubt, jersey no. 23 for now will be selling like a hot cake, and will be a household figure among soccer moms who have taken their soccer fanaticism to another level. Go Beckham, go! You are the man of the hour!

And Beckham did arrive Los Angeles in a show Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, newly-wed actress Eva Longoria, Michael Jordan and a cast of celebrities stormed the Home Depot Center to watch the injured Beckham's only 16 minutes debut for the Galaxy in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea last Saturday.

He had on Jersey number 23. No. 23 is a magic number. Jordan had it and gave Chicago Bulls 6 championships. Maybe, the magic will work for the Galaxy and Cobi Jones, Landon Donovan and the rest will win more trophies with Beckham's banana kicks as Jordan did for the Bulls with Air Jordan.

The game was explosive. The traffic was jammed. Hawkers made brisk business selling Beckham gears. The pubs were filled to the brim. Beckham cam was all over, the former English skipper had his name written everywhere as the City of Angels welcomed Beckham, Major League's Soccer $6.5 million a year man. The exhibition game was a commercial success for L.A. Galaxy and Major League Soccer. For sure, tickets will be sold out in any Beckham game.

Beckham may not be wearing his Kangaroo leather boots because "it's a crime in California to sell soccer cleats made from kangaroo leather." Also, the injured Beckham may not be playing for his new team soon until he is properly healed from his ankle injury.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

News Desk Sunday, July 22, 2007

N33 Billion Alleged Loot Trial: Prosecute Other Ex-Govs - Kalu, Dariye, Turaki, Nyame's Kinsmen - Supporters Storm Abuja Prison

THE incarceration of four former governors at the Medium Security Prison, Kuje, Abuja has increased human and vehicular traffic in and out of the prison as visitors trooped in to see the embattled erstwhile state chief executives. This happened just as their ordeal created ripples among their kinsmen. Some of the kinsmen backed the action against the former governors while others described it as a witch-hunt. MORE>>

South East Speakers Endorse Prosecution of Kalu, Nnamani, Others

The South-East Conference of Speakers has endorsed the prosecution of former governors alleged to have looted the treasuries of their respective states. The lawmakers noted at the inaugural meeting of the conference in Enugu State on Friday that the issue of corruption was something every Nigerian condemned. MORE>>

Refineries: Leaked Presidential Directives Influenced Dangote's Withdrawal

Indications emerged on Saturday that the Bluestar Oil Services Limited withdrew from the deal on the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries following a leaked directive from the Presidency. It was gathered that the Presidency gave a directive for the revocation of the deal at a meeting with the heads of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Bureau of Public Enterprises on Tuesday July 17, 2007 at the State House. MORE>>

Don't Be Too Greedy - Jakande Tells OBJ

Second Republic governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande says it is dishonourable for former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to be hustling for power after office, especially with the way he ‘hijacked’ Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BOT) chair. MORE>>

South East Speakers Push For Uwazuruike's Release

Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly in the South East Zone have thrown their weight behind the current trial of former state governors for alleged corrupt practices, while in office by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), saying that the proper handling of the alleged charges by the commission would go a long way in stabilizing the nation’s democracy as well as ensure that prudence was introduce in the governance of the country. MORE>>

Optimism on Nigeria's War on Poverty

Let's be honest, Nigeria has a poor image. Most outsiders think of it as an oil-rich, corrupt place where there are regular kidnappings and outbreaks of religious violence... I was asked recently to find out what progress Nigeria was making in meeting United Nations anti-poverty targets - targets like reducing the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day, and improving education for poor children. MORE>>

Thursday, July 19, 2007

News Desk Thursday, July 19, 2007

PDP North Rejects OBJ as BOT Chairman

MEMBERS of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the three geo-political zones of the North have asked for the replacement of former President Olusegun Obasanjo as the chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BOT). MORE>>

EFCC Fails to Arraign Nnamani

CONTRARY to expectations, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed on Wednesday to effect the arraignment of former Enugu State governor, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, before the Federal High Court, Lagos. He was also not brought before the court. MORE>>

Kalu, Turaki: Increased Security Vigilance at Kuje Prisons

There has been an increased security alert at the Medium Security Prison, Kuje, Abuja following the large number of visitors that has been trooping to the place in recent times. The number of visitors to the place has substantially increased since Monday, as a result of the incarceration of the former governors of Abia and Jigawa states, Chief Orji Kalu and Alhaji Saminu Turaki. MORE>>

Dubai Govt Deports Alams

WARRI — THE Dubai government has returned former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepereye Alamieyesiegha, to Nigeria, aborting the medical treatment he was undergoing in the Arab Emirate. MORE>>

Dangote, Others Pull out of Kaduna, P-Harcourt Refineries' Deal

LAGOS — BLUESTAR Consortium, comprising the business interest of Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Mr. Femi Otedola, has pulled out of its purchase of the Kaduna and Port Harcourt Refineries, belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The implication is that Nigerians may have to contend with the problems associated with imported petroleum products for much longer. MORE>>

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Reality of 'Governor' Ohakim's Visit and the Organizing Committees

by Ambrose Ehirim



The Internet crackpot was at it again. Barely two months in office from an election that was marred by widespread scandals of irregularities, a gullible and vulnerable Imo State indigenes in Diaspora endorsed a fraudulently elected Ohakim's proposed visit to the shores of America.

I read most, if not all, of the comments regarding a governor with the desire to visit the United States who is yet to appoint his commissioners and other related portfolios in the state. Also, I received numerous calls questioning on what basis should Ohakim be visiting U.S. when a case load of unresolved issues are hanging on the state.

I am quite sure many of Ohakim's friends tried to talk him out of it for the fact it was not yet uhuru for a troubled state and the entire 'nation,' even though the supposed beneficiaries of Ohakim's august visit may have felt disappointed for a once in a lifetime opportunity that has eluded them. Of course, the same political stupidity was seen in Achike Udenwa's administration when backlog of teachers and civil servants salaries were left unpaid while the do-nothing ex-governor embarked on touring the United States which became part of a conduit to launder money and shady real estate investments.

In a related discourse, I had argued the governor's visit was uncalled for and did not make any sense for the so-called organizers to be applauding the governor's visit which eventually triggered a net of confusion. Though, I did not expect the confused who had taken one thing to be another to listen to me. All I had been concerned was for the governor not to dabble into some nasty political tactics that has gotten officials of the previous administration into all kinds of trouble.

I heard Ohakim is a good man and has maintained his integrity all along. I also heard he is a man of principle without blemish dating back to his days of stewardship in the Coal City. The question here is: Why would a good man in that capacity allow himself to be dragged by a vulnerable Imo "Diaspora elite" that had lost every sense of purpose in building community? Why would Ohakim who supposedly should know the implications of such a fragile visit start with a dirty slate when he is barely two months in office? Why is it so important that this governor whose election is still questionable be rushing to the States on a visit that has nothing to do with the affairs of state and other pressing problems in Imo? And why should one be paying $50 a plate dinner in what if all had been well and appropriate, a town-hall meeting format with no cover charge?

But somehow, Ohakim listened. His visit as reported in the eleventh hour was postponed or entirely cancelled. What would have been more irresponsible was for his counsels and staffers not making a stronger effort to talk him out of it, or letting him go off on a dangerous mission which could possibly haunt him for the rest of his term in office.

However, in a similar argument I encountered with Innocent Osunwa, the radical teacher who would talk you into the night concretely endorsed Ohakim as a good man, knowing him personally from childhood, and disturbingly stressed Ohakim should not find solace with Imo Diaspora if he wants good governance to prevail in Imo State. "Ohakim should not allow his good name to be tainted by an inept and confused Imo Diaspora bunch," Osunwa continued.

Meanwhile, circulars were rolling around all over the Internet about Imo State Union meeting which would be held at 400 South La Brea Avenue in Inglewood, California. Osunwa talked me into attending the meeting in order to confront the organizers of a $50 dinner plate round table conference with Ohakim. I had considered not going, but Osunwa insisted the only way our "grievances" could add more meaning to discouraging such visits in future would be showing up at the meeting to express our opinion.

On the morning of Sunday, July 15, 2007, Osunwa called me to remind me of Imo State Union meeting as we earlier discussed the past week. I was not sure what made it necessary for me to attend a meeting Osunwa had been tyring to sell to me, even though, his registration as a member expired long time ago. His persuasion had made me consider a whole lot of things: One, I'm Igbo Diaspora; two, I am an Imo indigene residing in Los Angeles where the said meeting is being held; three, I am thinking it's my duty to be responsible for the well-being of my state of origin; four, I am thinking, too, that the only way to effect change is by getting involved and five, I could care less and do not want to be bothered.

I heeded Osunwa's advice and off I go to Imo State Union meeting in Los Angeles. It would be my first as an observer since my name is not on the roll call. I had arrived a little bit behind schedule and bumped into people I have not seen in a while. Not too many folks had arrived, though, which is typical of Igbo-related meetings.

After a long wait for a quorum to be formed, the meeting commenced with the usual opening prayers followed by the rituals of breaking and sharing kola nuts. It was on this day I noticed the unique tradition and cultural heritage of our ancestors had been altered. According to a new fabricated custom, a kola nut must be 'clothed' to avoid its nakedness before sharing. What that means is, cash must be donated generously toward a kola nut clothing before it could be shared among the members. Money donated generously on behalf of the kola nut goes to the coffers of the organization in session. Whatever happened to the status quo?

As it happened, the meeting was in order and top on its agenda was Ohakim's visit. Minutes of the previous meeting was passed through to members and all typographical errors and amendments were made. The question and answer session relating to Ohakim's visit was really fascinating. There were ambitious men who had political interest in Ohakim's administration which had something to do with the $50 dinner plate round table conference and had solidly backed the "governor's" visit on the ground it was good for the people of Imo State in Diaspora. There were, also, curious men who felt delighted to dine and wine with a fraudulently elected governor.

But I did pop the question, nevertheless, which raised some eyebrows. I had questioned the validity of Ohakim's visit and why would he be visiting the shores of this land when he is barely two months in office. I had also questioned the need for applauding a fraudulently elected governor. Hell broke loose after my questioning to a point I was told to "go home and see what will happen to you," that I will not have the privilege to see a governor who stole the peoples mandate. Imagine!

While we are at it as one is weary of pointing out, no one, absolutely no one, seems to remember Ralph Uwazuruike has been indefinitely locked behind bars while his co-defendants - Frederick Fasheun, Ganiyu Adams and Dokubo Asari - who had been accused of the same crime are now walking the streets free of charge. Afenifere and other related Yoruba elite and cultural groups did its job by setting Fasheun and Adams free at all cost. So, too, is Dokubo-Asari. Where is the Igbo leadership?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

News Desk Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Erosion Kills 16, Sacks 180 Families in Anambra

Awka—At least 16 people from Ifite Dunu community in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State have lost their lives to a devastating erosion in the community. Also, over 180 families have been sacked by erosion so far and they had fled the community and became refugees in some neighboring towns. MORE>>

Court Remands Kalu, Turaki in Prison Custody

ABUJA — FORMER governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Ibrahim Saminu Turaki, standing trial at a Federal High Court, Abuja for alleged stealing of N30 billion public funds broke down in tears, yesterday, moments after Justice Binta Murtala Nyarko ordered that he be remanded in prison custody pending hearing and determination of his bail application. MORE>>

Iwu in US, Defends Yar'Adua's Election

Echoes of the disputed elections in Nigeria have again reverberated in Washington, with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Maurice Iwu, defending the victory of President Umaru Yar'Adua. MORE>>

Dokubo-Asari wants OBJ Tried at International Court

HEAD of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), Alhaji Mujaheed Dokubo-Asari, has said that the Niger Delta will not witness peace until former President Olusegun Obasanjo is tried in the International Court of Justice for crimes against humanity. MORE>>

Sunday, July 15, 2007

News Desk Sunday, July 15, 2007

EFCC Fresh Offensive Against Ex-Governors: Nnamani, Turaki on Their Own - Kuta, Mmamora, other Senators

SENATORS have told former governors in the Senate currently being hounded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, that they are on their own.
Of the six former governors turned senators, four have questions to answer on alleged corrupt practices while in office, according to the EFCC. MORE>>

Igbo Leaders Pressure Yar'Adua To Release Uwazuruike

Top leaders of the South East extraction are mounting serious pressure on President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to release the detained leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike. MORE>>

I'm Not On The Run - Nnamani

CONTRARY to media reports that former Enugu State governor, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani has gone into hiding in order to escape arrest and prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over charges of corruption and money laundering while in office, the former governor is in Abuja. MORE>>

Saturday, July 14, 2007

PHOTO OP: DICK TIGER



This boxing legend was born in Amaigbo, a village fomerly in the Orlu Province during the pre and post-independence era. An aggressive counterpuncher, Tiger earned his first WBA Middleweight title fight against Gene Fulmer in October 1962. Tiger would win the fight and the title.

Notes:

WIKIPEDIA ENTRY ON TIGER

ADEYINKA MAKINDE'S ESSAY ON TIGER

AFRICAN AMERICAN REGISTRY ON TIGER

DAMOLA IFATUROTI'S BOOK REVIEW ON TIGER

News Desk Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ex-Govs Dariye, Turaki, Kalu Diverted Over N40bn Public Funds

ABUJA — Immediate past governors of Abia, Plateau and Jigawa states, Messrs Orji Uzor Kalu, Joshua Chibi Dariye and Saminu Turaki respectively were yesterday dragged before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for allegedly diverting over N40 billion public funds into their private businesses and pockets while they held public office. MORE>>

254 Kids Treated by Kanu Heart Foundation

Super Eagles captain and President, Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF), Nwankwo Kanu, has revealed that 254 children with various forms of heart diseases have been treated by the Foundation since it was established seven years ago. MORE>>

EFCC Fail to Arraign Ex-Abia Gov

The Economic and Financial Commission [EFCC] yesterday, inadvertently confirmed widespread suspicion that there might indeed be more to the arrest, Wednesday, of former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, than just any claim of fighting corruption and his failure to freely report to the commission for questioning. MORE>>

Bush Nominates New US Ambassador to Nigeria

United States President George Walker Bush has nominated a senior Foreign Service career diplomat, Ms. Robin Renee Sanders, as the new United States Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Nigeria. MORE>>

Why We Sacked Andy Uba - Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday said that it re-instated Mr. Peter Obi as the governor of Anambra State because he was wrongly denied the right to occupy that office by Dr. Chris Ngige, who was declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission as the winner of the 2003 governorship election in that state. MORE>>

Kidnappers Abduct 7 Staff of Dredging Firm in Onitsha

Awka—Kidnappers operating from Anambra River and River-Niger axis of Onitsha, Thursday evening, abducted seven men working for a local dredging company at Onitsha end of the River-Niger. MORE>>

Bow and Go: Hoe Senate Screened Ministerial Nominees

The Senate’s decision to allow live coverage of the screening of ministerial nominees was a step probably taken to build up the image of the legislative body. However, at the end of the second day of the screening exercise, the image conveyed was that of a patronizing Senate with distinguished Senators falling over one another to adore the nominees. MORE>>

This Day Music Festival Live at 6 PM

Shakira, the Latin Ame-rican singing sensation, Kelly Roland and Rihanna arrived Nigeria in the early hours of today to participate in the 2007 THISDAY Music Festival. Their arrival was preceded by neo-soul singer, John Legend, earlier on Friday, on a British Airways flight. MORE>>

Friday, July 13, 2007

News Desk Friday, July 13, 2007

EFCC Guns for Nnamani, Dariye, Nyame, Haruna - Yar'Adua Backs ex-Govs' Arrest

ABUJA — THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is expanding its latest crackdown on former governors, according to indications yesterday.
At least four more ex-governors may be arrested soon in addition to the two — Chief Orji Kalu (Abia) and Alhaji Saminu Turaki (Jigawa)— who were taken in by the commission on Wednesday. MORE>>

Soldiers Rob, Killed Obiekea, Witness Tells Court

OWERRI—An Owerri High Court presided over by Justice Ngozi Benardine Ukoha, was at the commencement of the murder trial of two soldiers, Bassey Asiyang and Augustine Nwaolisa, told that the accused persons “abducted, robbed and killed” Sylvester Nnaemeka Obiekea on December 24, 2006. MORE>>

EFCC May Arraign Kalu, Turaki Today

Indications emerged on Thursday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission might arraign the ex-governors of Abia and Jigawa states, Dr. Orji Kalu and Alhaji Saminu Turaki, before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday (today). MORE>>

Ex-Senators, Reps fail to Return Diplomatic Passports - Foreign Affairs Ministry

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Thursday, expressed displeasure over the failure of former senators and members of the House of Representatives to return their diplomatic passports given to them between 2003 and 2007. MORE>>

Human Trafficking: Two Bus Loads of 121 Suspects Intercepted

Two bus loads of 121 persons suspected to be trafficked emigrants were on Thursday, intercepted at Ezzamgbo community in Ohaukwu Local Government area of Ebonyi State on their way to Cameroun and other central African countries. MORE>>

Yar'Adua Sets up Panel on Ministerial Portfolios

DETERMINED to produce an effective cabinet, President Umaru Yar’Adua has set up a three-man committee to produce a draft allocation of portfolios for the incoming ministers. MORE>>

Obasanjo Worth N180 billion, says Daboh

Assistant National Auditor of the Peoples Democratic Party (North Central) Dr. Godwin Daboh Adzuana has criticized the emergence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo as Chairman Board of Trustees of the PDP. MORE>>

Govt Threatens Reprisal Over Maltreatment of Nigerians Abroad

WORRIED by the harassment being suffered by Nigerians in foreign lands, the Federal Government has lodged a formal protest with the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN) and other international organisations. MORE>>

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Linus "Wayne" Ekene Faces Life in Prison

On January 10, 1997, Linus "Wayne" Ekene fatally shot Okon Nelson Offem over an inexplicable business dispute at his North Hollywood apartment. Being on the lam for nearly a decade, Ekene was arrested in Utah in 2006 on a misdeamenor battery charge for beating up his boss with a baseball bat. His fingerprints matched the ones recovered from the North Hollywood murder scene and was immediately repartrated to California to face a more serious charge.

On Monday, July 09, 2007, "Wayne" was found guilty of all charges and would spend the rest of his life in prison when sentenced next month at Van Nuys Municipal Court.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Naija Videos On The Net

Naija music videos has come with a bang and twist. Watching these videos, one will be wondering, though getting better, why the featured artists and performers are bent on Google and YouTube videos, notoriously an internet crackpot. Check out this 7 minute miracle a paralized man was made to walk by the miracles of God which has invaded the entire nation. These churches are spreading in an alarming rate and nothing is stopping them from keeping the word of God alive. Keep the good work of God coming, folks!

Or this one by Harriet Kisakye titled Ki Nigeria with the vibes basically the same without category. But, hey, it sounds like a dance track and you might as well get on with the groove and save yourself the agony of trying to figure out what the hell it's all about. The lady is pretty, ain't she?

How about this one where a man is raised from the Dead? This 9 minute plus something video is amazing, and you better believe it - the dead man was revived to life. Whoever said Naija can't perform miracles?

And this Fela's Zombie soundtrack submitted to YouTube by Scambaiter? Ain't the name funny to make you wonder if this 18 minutes of rubbish is worth your time? It could be fun to some people, though. Just take a look!

Monday, July 09, 2007

News Desk Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ministerial List: Senators Worry Over Nominees' Portfolios

ABUJA — THE non attachment of portfolios to the list of ministerial nominees is provoking palpable angst in the Senate. Already, only 17 of the 34 names submitted have been given security clearance for the screening which is expected to start today. The non-inclusion of the portfolios first caused a sharp division among senators after the list was presented last week. MORE>>

EFCC Moves to Freeze Kaduna Govt's Accounts

ABUJA — OPERATIVES of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, swooped on the branches of some commercial banks nationwide, seeking to freeze the accounts of the Kaduna State Government. MORE>>

Constitutional Amendment, Senate's Priority

President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, has said that the amendment of the 1999 Constitution is a priority of the new Senate.A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Paul Mumeh, on Monday said Mark made the commitment when he addressed the Annual General Meeting of the Idoma National Forum on Sunday in Otukpo. MORE>>

PDP Chairman Rains Insults on Journalists

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, on Monday, went wild in Abuja as he rained insults on journalists and the media. In a fit of anger, the PDP chairman described Nigerian journalists as a bunch of ignoramus who had always found it impossible to understand his English. MORE>>

CNN Has Apologized to Nigeria - Obiozor

Cable News Network, CNN, has apologised to Nigeria, the country’s outgoing Ambassador to the United States, Professor George Obiozor, has said. Empowered Newswire reported that Obiozor, who spoke on Friday in New York at a reception to mark his departure from the US as Nigeria's Ambassador, said a Nigerian delegation including himself visited the CNN to express Nigerian’s displeasure at the repeated coverage portraying Nigeria in bad light. MORE>>

Resign Now, CNPP Tells Yar'Adua

Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has asked President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to resign since he admitted that the election that brought him to power was marred by fraud. MORE>>

Etteh Tasks Okiro on Cops' Welfare

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Patricia Etteh, has challenged the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, to faithfully implement the police budget for the improvement of the welfare of his officers and men. MORE>>

How Kidnappers of British Kid Lost N50m Ransome

Combined pressure from Rivers State government and some prominent Ijaw leaders forced the release of Baby Margaret Hill, the three-year-old British girl abducted last week. The little girl, who was kidnapped Thursday last week near her school in Port Harcourt by five gunmen, was let go on Sunday night by her abductors. MORE>>

Uba Denies Begging Ngige

Controversial godfather of Anambra politics, Chief Chris Uba, has denied reports that he apologised to former governor Chris Ngige, over his travails while serving as governor. A national daily (not THISDAY), had quoted Ngige as saying that he had accepted Uba’s apology in good faith, adding, “if there is no sin, there won’t be forgiveness.” MORE>>

Nigeria to Avoid External Debt Trap, says President

LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria will avoid the pitfalls of foreign debts, President Umaru Yar'Adua said on Monday, two years after a landmark deal with the Paris Club granted Africa's top oil producer $18 billion in debt relief. Nigeria's Debt Management Office told Yar'Adua that the country's external debt now stood at about $2.6 billion, while internal debts were 1.86 trillion naira. MORE>>

Militants to Hold Talks With Yar'Adua

PRESIDENT Umaru Yar'Adua is to meet with Niger-Delta militants in Abuja soon over their demand for the creation of two more states - Oil Rivers and Toruebe for the Ijaws and an additional Local Government Area in Bayelsa State, as part of the conditions for peace to reign in the region. MORE>>

Nigeria's Guaranty Trust Bank to Raise 750 mln usd from London Listing - Report

LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Nigeria's Guaranty Trust Bank is planning to raise 750 mln usd in a global offering of shares to become the first bank from sub-Saharan Africa to list on the London Stock Exchange, the Financial Times newspaper reported. MORE>>

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Famous Ngwa Road, Aba



The above is what Ngwa Road has been reduced to, courtesy of Orji Kalu

News Desk Sunday, July 08, 2007

Ministerial List Shocker: Abia Senators Reject Ojo Maduekwe - Priotest in Edo, Osun, Kaduna

CHIEF Ojo Maduekwe’s ministerial nomination has been declared dead on arrival with all three senators from Abia State declaring their opposition to the nomination. By Senate convention when two of the three senators from the state of a nominee oppose the nominee, the nomination is rested. MORE>>

Militants Ultimatum to Kidnappers: Free British Girl Within 48 hours or face consequences - They Have Asked for Ransom. Who Will help me pay them? - Mother

NIGER Delta militants under the aegis of the Joint Revolutionary Council, JRC, have issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the kidnappers of three-year old Briton, Miss Margaret Hill, to set free their captive or face their wrath. The ultimatum took effect from yesterday, just as the distraught mother of the little girl, Oluchi, said the kidnappers had asked for ransom. She did not say how much was being demanded by the kidnappers. MORE>>

Money Laundering: UBA to Forfeit $5.3m to US

For obstructing a probe into an alleged money laundering activity in the United States of America, the United Bank for Africa Plc is to forfeit $5.3m to the US government. According to a report by the Bloomberg News on Friday, US prosecutors agreed not to file criminal charges against the bank following the readiness of UBA to pay $5.3m as a settlement fee as part of an agreement announced on Friday in New York by US Attorney, Mr. Michael Garcia. MORE>>

FG Behind Kidnapping - Dokubo

Alhaji Mujahedeen Asari-Dokubo has appealed to kidnappers in the Niger-Delta region to search their conscience since there is always a day of reckoning in this world or in the hereafter, even as he alleged that Federal Government was paying militia groups in the Niger Delta to carry out the kidnappings. MORE>>

Ohakin Proposes N80bn Wonder Lake

GOVERNOR Ikedi Ohakim has said that industrialization of Imo State is the cardinal objective of his administration, just as he added that plans are underway to establish N80bn Wonder Lake Resort at Oguta. The governor who said this during a courtesy visit by the Archbishop and Bishops of Owerri Anglican Ecclesiastical Province led by Archbishop Benneth C.I. Okoro, unveiled other plan for the launch of the Clean and Green Initiative programme to clear over 2000 damaged vehicles littering the states. MORE>>

Aba Boils

Twelve persons have so far been arrested by the police in Abia State following the violent clashes between members of Aba Township Bus Drivers union and the police. Aba, the commercial nerve centre of the state, has been boiling since Friday due to drivers’ union’s protest against Police harassment and intimidation at different check points in the city and its environs. MORE>>

Orkar Coup: Major Mukoro Pardoned

Seventeen years after the Major Gideon Orkar-led coup which attempted to topple the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida, one of the major actors in the coup, Major Saliba Daddy Mukoro has been granted presidential pardon. Sources hinted that the presidential pardon was signed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on May 24, five days before he left office on May 29. MORE>>

Hostage taking: Okiro Confers with UK


Acting Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, has opened discussion with officials of the United Kingdom on how to tackle the ugly incident of hostage taking in the Niger Delta. The chat has coincided with revelation that those who kidnapped the three-year old Briton, Margaret Hill, have formally demanded for ransom from the parents. MORE>>

OBJ Will Destroy You, Rimi Tells yar'Adua

"(Ex-President) Olusegun Obasanjo is not a democrat. He is a dictator, a very bad politician, a bad influence and he is not good for our country's democracy."
With those harsh words, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi at the weekend urged President Umar Yar'Adua to be wary of people he seeks advice from, lest he is misled into disaster. MORE>>

Me, Obasanjo and Nigeria - 'Dangote'

“The price Nigerians are paying for fuel and diesel is high because they are paying the price of inefficiency and corruption within NNPC,” Dangote says. “They (NNPC) are not efficient. If they are efficient, then they should produce like India. We are paying for the inefficiency and corruption. There is corruption in the industry. It is a known thing.” MORE>>

Friday, July 06, 2007

Jungle Beat at Samaka Studios (5)

I wrote about this pop diva here, and good for her she made it at number five in "Jungle Beat at Samaka Studios" with the track "Vul'indlela" from the Greatest Hits CD.

I am not sure if Brenda earned this slot on my list. But watching that emotional video calling on Nelson Mandela to step up stage and join the groove, she rightly earned it, and I gave it to her. Mandela is my idol!

Jungle Beat at Samaka Studios (4)

I am not sure if I deliberately did this. Why did I do this? Gosh, why did I with Teddy Osei-Mac Tontoh-Sol Amarfio's Osibisa? I had placed my childhood heroes at number four with the track 'Che Che Kule' written by drummer Sol "Rhythm Man" Amarfio and first released in 1972 during the band's PYE years in London.

Somehow, I would think it's not right for what I have done. But think about it though, Fela, Masekela and Di Bango who topped Osibisa earned the slot on the list. Also, I had missed my favorite Osibisa track 'Woyaya' which I recited verbatim while growing up and my little nephew, only two years old, sang along with me. And only God knows, according to Osibisa:

Woyaya means we are going
Only God knows where we are going
We are going
Heaven knows where we are going
We know we will...
We will get there
Heaven knows how we will get there
We know we will
It will be hard we know
And the road will be muddy and rough
But we will get there...
We will get there
Heaven knows how we will get there
we know we will

That line alone made everybody's day listening to this legendary group do their thing.

No question, the coinage "Afro Rock" being a combination of highlife and Western rock became a household name established by Osei and his Ghanaian brothers together with their Caribbean folks they met in London - Spartcus R., on bass and Wendell Richardson, on Lead guitar, acoustic guitar and vocals - playing gigs to entertain audiences not familiar with the kind of vibes in the 70s disco era, introducing a new kind of "jungle beat," making Osibisa the inventors of Afro Rock which was universally accepted into world class music.

The 'Che Che Kule' from this particular album, was a national anthem emulated by many other local emsembles. But at number four in my compilation, I really "dunno!" Track 7 of this compilation features another great song by Osibisa. 'Happy Children,' the band's fourth album was a knockout, and I remember as a kid, we recited that "Ayele" stuff meaning double winner in a card playing contest.

Jungle Beat at Samaka Studios (3)

I have heard two different versions of the song 'Oh! koh!' One by Cardinal Rex Lawson and the other by African Rhythm Messengers, a Bay area local ensemble led by vocalist Babatunde Garaya. Comparing both songs, though credited to Lawson as the lawful composer, Di Bango, the original Makossa man's 'Oh Koh' culled from Di bango's Very Best beats them all.

But this fabulous track, making it number three on my list of "Jungle Beats at Samaka Studios" got me right there with the rhythm. A dance track that'll make you groove until you are busted for stealing a show you never intended to. Brilliant vibe! Go for it and check some of his makossa vibes at his website and enjoy one of Africa's finest musician.

Jungle Beat at Samaka Studios (2)

Hugh Masekela's "The Boy's Doing It" was number two on my list as I had selected 'Excuse Me Please' at track two which begins with Masekela's rendition of 'excuse me, baby!...mama what are you doing in the ghetto' followed by some congas, then drums and Masekela's trademark trumpet. The album was first released in 1975 while Masekela was still in exile. He had done sessions with Osibisa and Fela as part of this project dedicating the album to Fela. I will not be writing in detail about Masekela here, but would like to point out briefly some basic facts about this legendary trumpeter. Maskela palyed with Jazz legends Herb Alpert, Fela, and many others including Paul Simon in the 'Graceland Tour. Good vibe!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

News Desk Friday, July 06, 2007

SSS Disrupts Igbo National Council's Conference - INC Alleges Plot for Igbo Extinction

ENUGU—OPERATIVES of the State Security Service (SSS), yesterday, stormed the Sunshine Guest House, Enugu where leaders of the Igbo National Council (INC) were addressing a news conference on national issues bothering on the Igbo interest, disrupted the conference and whisked away leaders of the group. MORE>>

Militants Kidnap 3-yr-old British Kid

PORT HARCOURT — A THREE-YEAR-OLD British kid, Margaret Hill, was yesterday abducted by armed youths in Port Harcourt. She was on her way to school. Sources said five boys in a Toyota Saloon car blocked the vehicle taking Margaret to school and then ordered those in the car to release her to them. Her attackers smashed the windscreen of the vehicle. MORE>>

Stop Pulling Yourself Down, Mark Tasks Igbo

ABUJA—Senate President David Mark yesterday charged Igbos in politics to stop the practise of pulling one another down just as he warned that Governors would never again be allowed to rubbish their Senators. MORE>>

Yar'Adua Recalls Ambassadors

Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Alhaji Aminu Wali, and politically-appointed ambassadors have been recalled. A United States-based Nigerian news agency, Empowered Newswire, reported on Thursday that President Umaru Yar’Adua had asked them to tidy up their assignments by the end of June ahead of the appointment of new envoys. MORE>>

Senate President Warns Ministerial Nominees

The President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, has warned ministerial nominees against offering bribes to senators during their screening. The screening will start on Tuesday at 10am. Mark, who read out the names of 34 nominees at the plenary session of the Senate on Thursday in Abuja, also advised his colleagues against accepting gratification from the would-be ministers. MORE>>

Anenih, Others for Probe - Over N1 trillion Spent on Roads

THE battle between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Tony Anenih has shifted to the Senate with the upper chamber launching a probe of Anenih’s tenure as works minister. MORE>>

Rivers Woos Militants With N1m Each

Cultists, militants and other arms bearers in Rivers State are to receive the N1 million each if they renounce criminal activities. The chairman of Peace and Rehabilitation Committee in Rivers State, Hassan Tam Douglas, made this public, while speaking with the leader of the ‘Bush Boys’ of Okrika, Sunny Opuambe, in Government House, Port Harcourt. MORE>>

Jungle Beat at Samaka Studios


Quite often, I compile songs for the heck of it, and of course, for my listening pleasure at home or while cruising on the streets of Los Angeles. Most of the time, though, my compilations takes place at Samaka Studios where I create all the beats before the sound engineers and production crews arrives for the normal evening jam sessions. Compilations doesn't take much, that is, if you are not mixing sounds to produce entirely a different kind of vibe depending on the program and sofware one is using.

However, it came to my mind to do some crazy stuff. I mean, being a music enthusiast and one who has a lasting passion for good vibes dating back to the good ol' 70s when series of music categories were coined to catch up with the rhythms of African beats. It was then that Afro Beat, Afro Rock, Ikwokirikwo and the rest came into being. In this case, I coined my compilations 'Jungle Beat' and had selected five legendary African performers - Fela, Hugh Masekela, Manu Di Bango, Osibisa and Brenda Fassie - who aren't the best of them all, but who, in my own assessment have left a mark in the world music scene.

Fela's 'Expensive Shit' album was number one on my list and I had selected "Water No Get Enemy" as the first track of this compilation. The album was first released in 1975 and I first heard the vibe popping up from a neigbor's house during which time Fela had begun to showcase his talents in playing series of instruments entertaining his audiences at the Shrine.

There are ten tracks in this compilation of legendary African musicians and bands of which five recording artists were involved. Fela at number 0ne, six and 10 makes the compilation a masterpiece. Masekela at number two, seven and nine would make one wanna holla hearing these beats pop up from the jungle. Manu di Bango, the Cameroonian music maestro and legendary saxophonist took number three spot with the track, 'Oh! Koh!' Osibisa, my childhood heroes features at number four and number eight with the tracks 'Che Che Kule,' 'Happy Children,' respectively. The Queen of African Pop, Brenda Farsi with the track 'Vul'ndlela' at track five concludes my picks as the best of my 'Jungle Beat' compilations. All a mind-blowing sensation.

TRACK LIST:

1. Water No Get Enemy - Fela Anikulapo Kuti

2. Excuse Me Please - Hugh Masekela

3. Oh! Koh! - Manu di Bango

4. Che Che Kule - Osibisa

5. Vul'indlela - Brenda Fassie

6. Sorrows, Tears and Blood - Fela

7. The Boy's Doing It - Masekela

8. Happy Children - Osibisa

9. Mama - Masekela

10.Expensive Shit - Fela

Absolutely, there is a message in the music!

MASSOB Leader's Supporters Clash With SSS

By Nnamdi Felix /Abuja

Hell was let loose this morning at the Federal High Court, Abuja as the members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) clashed with gun-wielding operatives of the State Security Service (SSS). The MASSOB members who beat the security operatives’ blockades at the gate of the court premises chanted war songs and praised their leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, who was in court for the continuation of his trial.

As soon as Uwazuruike emerged from the court room, the MASSOB members raised the tempo of their praise singing and as Uwazuruike made to acknowledge the cheers of his supporters, the security operatives who were still angry with the number of the MASSOB elements who found their way into the court premises, would not have any of it. They forcefully tried to bundle the MASSOB leader into the waiting Nassarawa State prison vehicle.

This provoked his supporters and prompted them into action to defend their leader. Not a few of the security operatives and the MASSOB elements as well, left with swollen and bruised faces.

At this point, efforts of the leader of the SSS team to shield cameramen from taking shots collapsed as the supporters urged the pressmen to capture the event and relay it to Nigerians.

A security official with the Prisons Armed Unit threatened to shoot Uwazuruike if his people will not let go of one of their members who was being held by the supporters.

Festus Keyamo, who entered appearance for Uwazuruike during the court proceedings, had informed the court about the death of Mrs. Monica Uwazuruike, the MASSOB leader’s mother, who is yet to be buried as her only surviving son, Ralph, is still in detention.

He sought for a short adjournment to enable him file a new application for bail for the MASSOB leader in the light of the latest development.

Justice Murtala-Nyako, the presiding judge, adjourned hearing till 17 July 2007 after condoling the MASSOB leader over the death of his mother.

Meanwhile, operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) this morning invaded the venue of a press conference organised by Igbo National Council.

The press briefing was taking place in Enugu when the security agents stormed the venue and disrupted it.

Sources at the venue of the briefing said the SSS operatives insisted on taking officials of the council away to their office in Enugu. The operatives were still laying siege to the venue of the briefing at the time of filing this report.

The briefing was organised to address the plight of the Igbo people, particularly their marginalisation and the continued detention of Ralph Uwazuruike, the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).

News Desk Thursday, July 05, 2007

Maduekwe, Usman, 33 Others on Ministerial List

President Umaru Yar’Adua has submitted the names of 35 prominent Nigerians to the Senate for screening as ministers in line with constitutional provisions. He sent the names on Wednesday through his Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa. MORE>>

Militants Kill Policeman, Kidnap 5 oil Workers

MILITANTS, again, kidnapped five expatriate oil workers and killed one mobile policeman when they attacked Rig2 in Soku, Rivers State, belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) on Wednesday. MORE>>

Fuel Price: DPR Seals off Seven Stations for non Compliance

Awka—The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) yesterday sealed off seven filling stations in Nnewi and Awka, Anambra State, for their failure to sell petroleum products at government approved prices. MORE>>

ANPP Govs Disown Buhari, Back Unity Govt Deal

ABUJA — GOVERNORS of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) yesterday disowned their presidential candidate in the last election, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), saying his rejection of the Government of National Unity proposed by President Umaru Yar’Adua was his personal opinion that did not affect the position of the party. MORE>>

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Brenda Fassie: The Queen of African Pop and her Music

The late Brenda Fassie, "Queen of African Pop," and dubbed by Time Magazine as "Madonna of the Townships" was a phenomenon, that is why if you listen to her powerful chords which echoes with emotional bursts, and watched her live performances and music videos, you would conclude a vacuum had been left.

I wasn't too familiar with her music until probably the beginning of the decade when I seriously began collecting African music which has now taken me to a whole new heights. I collect everything African; from soukous to rumba, and from highlife to ikwokirikwo, the kind of big band ensemble Ikenga Superstars of Africa invented, with that popular vibe, Ikenga Ga Allum, (Ikenga will marry me).

Fassie's music causes commotion whenever it's played at party jams and night clubs. Before purchasing her Greatest Hits at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, I never thought of her songs having such powerful lyrics especially the track 'Vul'Indlela' she sang to Nelson Mandela in one of her striking concerts in South Africa.

Fassie was born in 1964 in Langa, Cape Town, South Africa and died on May 10, 2004 at 39. She had a long battle with drugs stirring a whole lot of controversy in the media, and not slowing down in what she knew best, her music and those powerful chords, the critical press did not deter her in moving on to the top. Her Discography is right here and amazing even when it's posthumous.

The "Greatest Hits" CD comes with liner notes describing Fassie as "versatile, gutsy, laden with texture and instantly identifiable" possessing "one of the best voices in South Africa - heck, in Africa and beyond!" Profits from the CD benefits the 46664, a subsidiary of the Nelson Mandela Foundation "to improve the lives of those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa." 46664 was Mandela's prison number.

News Desk Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Yar'Adua Opposes Obasanjo on National Assembly Committees

Strong indications emerged on Tuesday that President Umaru Yar’Adua and former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, are heading in opposite directions over the Peoples Democratic Party directive that all committees in the Senate and House of Representatives be chaired by PDP lawmakers. MORE>>

Ex-Governors Behind Plan to Remove Ribadu

INDICATIONS emerged on Tuesday that the alleged pressure that was mounted on President Umaru Yar ‘Adua to remove the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, was being spearheaded by some of the former governors. MORE>>

Three Shortlisted for Ribadu's Job

THE plan to remove the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, may have gone beyond speculations as three Northerners were said to have been shortlisted for the position. MORE>>

AU Summit: Accra Declaration

RECALLING our decision Assembly/AU/Dec. 156 (VIII) adopted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2007 on the need for a "Grand Debate on the Union Government" with a view to providing a clear vision of the future of the African Union and of African unity; MORE>>

AU Summit: Not Yet There

The 9th Summit of African Union Heads of State and Government ended yesterday without a ringing statement for a United States of Africa under a Union Government. It was from the beginning going to be a tall order – getting over fifty heads of state and government to sign away their countries sovereignties into one super-state. They did not disappoint; they debated, discussed, argued and lobbied and ended just as their predecessors have done these four decades and more, but with a significant difference. MORE>>

Women Seek Imo Govt Assistance

A group of women, led by wife of the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Prof. Viola Onwuliri, has called on the wife of Imo State Governor, Mrs. Chioma Ohakim, to donate a bus to shuttle the university, to alleviate the suffering of the students. MORE>>

Nigerians Going Through Hell, admits Yar'Adua

President Umar Musa Yar’Adua on Tuesday, in Accra, Ghana, admitted that the majority of Nigerians are literally going through hell, in their bid to eke out a living, following widespread poverty. He attributed the situation to the inability of the system to generate jobs as well as the vexatious power and energy problem. MORE>>

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

News Desk Tuesday, July 03, 2007

20 Feared Killed by Gunmen in Port Harcourt

PORT HARCOURT — NO fewer than 20 persons lost their lives Sunday night in Port Harcourt when gunmen took over major streets, shooting sporadically. The cause of their action was still unclear at press time. MORE>>

Enahoro, Others ask Court to Void '99 Constitution

ABUJA — FIVE members of Pro-National Conference (PRONACO) have filed a suit at a Federal High Court, Abuja seeking the invalidation of the 1999 constitution.They are contending that the constitution is a fraud, having not emanated from the people of Nigeria as claimed by its preamble. MORE>>

Confusion Over Ministerial List

INTERNAL bickerings within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition political parties have deepened confusion over the ministerial list, Nigerian Tribune investigation has revealed. MORE>>

FG Moves to Remove Ribadu - Ribadu Confers with Obasanjo

There are indications that the President Umaru Yar’Adua government may be planning to replace Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as the head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). MORE>>

Obasanjo, Atiku, Others Spent N635m on Lobbying - Report

The administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, and eight ex-governors spent more than $5,000,471 (about N635m) on lobbying in the United States between 1999 and 2006. MORE>>

U.S. Congress Moves to Make OPEC Illegal

WITH its citizens at the receiving end of the rising cost of crude oil in the global market, the United States Congress has embarked on a course that may send international law experts back to their text books. In a unanimous vote, the Congress on May 23 passed a bill, which criminalises the formation and operation of oil producing countries acting as a body. MORE>>

AU Summit: Good Show - Ground Debate Wraps up Today

The groundbreaking African Union Summit ends in Accra today. Much is expected from it, but would anything at all come out of it? The session, which has been running since Tuesday June 19 2007 with pre-summit events including the AU Civil Society Organizations Meeting, was officially opened on Sunday July 1, 2007 with the convening of the 9th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the union. MORE>>

AU Summit: Kibaki for a United African State

President Kibaki has backed calls for the formation of an African government. Mr Kibaki, however, stressed the need for a structured approach towards unity during the ongoing African Union Summit in Accra, Ghana. MORE>>

AU Summit: Why We Oppose Gaddafi, by Yar'Adua

President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua yesterday explained his disagreement with Col. Muammar Gaddafi over the Libyan leader's proposal for the establishment of a United States of Africa. He said the continent was confronted with "greater challenges" which need immediate tackling, rather than setting up a union government. MORE>>

Musicians for African Union Government

South African musician, Hugh Masekela, has declared that the attainment of African Union government would be pointless if African leaders do not take steps to stem the genocide and other human right violations in Darfur and elsewhere. He noted that Africans needed to see themselves as one state and therefore consider the boundaries dividing them as imaginary. With that in mind, he said, the ongoing African Union (AU) Summit in Accra should focus on measures to stop recalcitrant African leaders like Omar Basher and the evil Janjaweed from perpetrating genocide in Darfur. MORE>>

AU Summit: Gaddafi with a Bang! His armed "Batallion" Disarmed

Libyan Leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi arrived in Ghana by road for the AU Summit with his usual entourage of armed guards. Very clearly, a diplomatic spat was in the offing. The Ghanaian security authorities refused to allow all these arms into the national capital and had to be disarmed. MORE>>

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ehirim Files News Desk Monday, July 02, 2007

AU Plans United States of Africa

Leaders of the African Union, on Sunday, began a three-day summit in Accra, Ghana, and planned to forge a confederation of states with an acknowledgement that the continent’s current system of governance had to improve. MORE>>

Civil Society Discusses Darfur, Zimbabwe at Summit

African officials and members of civil society organizations across the continent have been debating the twin crises in Darfur, Sudan and Zimbabwe ahead of the African Union Summit in Accra, Ghana. While the official theme of the conference is the so-called "Grand Debate on a United States of Africa," which would accelerate political and economic integration within the body's 52 member states, discussions of the ongoing violence in Darfur and the worsening political and economic situation in Zimbabwe are largely taking place outside of the official forum. MORE>>

You Stabbed me in the Back, Buhari Accuses ANPP Leaders

Presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) has accused the party and its leadership of betraying him in their acceptance to participate in the proposed government of national unity in the country, even after counselling him to go to court. MORE>>

Uwazuruike: Selective Justice!

Pained by the condition of the Igbo 25 years after the civil war in the project Nigeria in 1995, I wrote the book, Igbos: 25 years after Biafra. My aim of writing the book was not only to encourage and motivate my people to stop complaining of marginalization and take affirmative action but to prick the conscience of other Nigerians that time has come for us to put the war behind us and forge ahead as one united family to join the human race. MORE>>

More Trouble for Ehindero

The noose appears to be tightening round the neck of the immediate past Inspector General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero, as anti-fraud detectives at the Police Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) in Abuja unearth fresh clues in the ongoing probe into the recent N21million scam for which three of his close aides were held. MORE>>

ICPC Begins Fresh Probe of ex-Govs - EFCC now to Concentrate on Money Laundering, Terrorism

ABUJA—THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has transferred the case files of former state governors it is investigating to its sister organisation, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). MORE>>

Fuel Sells for N120 per Litre in Imo

OWERRI—OVER one week after the national leadership of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) forced down the pump prices of petroleum products in the country, prices of the commodities, especially the premium motor spirit (PMS), have remained very high in Imo State. MORE>>

Nigeria's Domestic Debt hits N1.8 trillion

NIGERIA'S domestic debt stock is ballooning, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO). From N897.95 billion in 2000, the debt portfolio rose to N1.66 trillion in 2002 and hit N1.87 trillion at the end of March 2007. MORE>>

Ministerial List: IBB, Anenih dare OBJ - Dangote, others back OBJ's Nominees - Senate May get List Tomorrow

THE battle between the pro and anti-Obasanjo forces within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has shifted to the ministerial list as both camps are now struggling to get their nominees onto the final list. MORE>>

Price of Machetes Drops in Nigeria after Elections

ABUJA, July 2 (Reuters) - The price of machetes has halved in parts of Nigeria since the end of general elections in April because demand from thugs sponsored by politicians has subsided, the state-owned News Agency of Nigeria reported. MORE>>

University Teachers in Nigeria Suspends Strike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, the ASUU, a representative body for teachers of state-owned universities in Nigeria, says the strike was suspended to give the new Nigerian administration a chance to address its grievances. MORE>>

AIG Investments Invests in Nigeria's Intercontinental Bank PLC

NEW YORK, July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- AIG Investments today announced that AIG Global Emerging Markets Fund II, L.P., a fund sponsored by AIG Capital Partners, Inc. (AIGCP), a member company, acquired a minority interest in Intercontinental Bank Plc, a leading bank in Nigeria, as part of a consortium of international investors, including Emerging Capital Partners, Vectis Capital through West African Financial Holdings Limited Partnership, Firstrand International Limited and Rashed Abdulrahman Al Rashed & Sons Company Limited. The transaction will support Intercontinental Bank's expansion strategy in and outside Nigeria. The transaction was part of a larger US $850 million fundraising exercise by Intercontinental Bank to increase its Tier 1 capital with the funds earmarked for various growth initiatives. MORE>>

US Experts Arrive to Audit Nigerian Airlines

Technical experts from the United States' Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) arrived in the country yesterday to audit three domestic airlines, Arik Air, Virgin Nigeria and Bellview which had been designated to fly tthe Nigeria-US air route by the Federal Government. MORE>>

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Agege, Lagos



If you like you can ferry on Agege Motor Road! We are talking about a city where living conditions has worsened in the modern era, and where electricity, running water and accessible roads, a basic amenity of life is far-fetched. Nevertheless, the country is seen as a continent's giant, yet, it's still a jungle out there. Only in Naija, sha!

News Desk Sunday, July 01, 2007

Unity Govt: 6 Cabinet Slots Tear AC Apart

LEADERS of the Action Congress (AC) were at the weekend bending backwards to cover a crisis emanating from the offer of one ministerial position and other subordinate positions in government by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led federal government. MORE>>

Gov. Chime, Nnamani's Rift Blows Open

ALLEGED friction between former governor of Enugu State, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani and his successor, Mr. Sullivan Chime, came to the fore yesterday when the former boycotted the civic reception organized for the deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and other National Assembly members from the state by the state government. MORE>>

Inside Abuja Dungeon

IN 1976 when the plan for a befitting federal capital for Nigeria was hatched, the vision of the founding fathers was to create a federal capital that will be home to all Nigerians irrespective of social status; a place where the mighty and lowly, the rich and famous as well as the poor and nobodies of the society can live together without the usual Nigerian factor of tribal, religious and economic barriers. MORE>>

Ministerial List: Yar'Adua Sends SSS, NIA to Nominees Villages

Security outfits currently screening the ministerial nominees whose names were forwarded to them by President Umaru Yar’Adua have visited the villages and former schools of the nominees, trying to ascertain some claims contained in their curriculum vitae. MORE>>

No Room for Looters in Yar'Adua's Govt - Akinjide

AS the nation awaits the composition of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s cabinet, an elderstatesman and former attorney general of the federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Osuolale Akinjide (SAN), has told those hoping to make quick money in Yar’Adua’s government to look elsewhere. MORE>>

Obasanjo, Kingibe Clash

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babagana Kingibe may have disagreed over the appointment of ministers by the Umaru Yar’Adua administration. Sources informed Sunday Punch that Obasanjo is reportedly against the nomination of Kashim Imam, for a ministerial post by Borno PDP stakeholders, including Kingibe. MORE>>

FATF Stops Monitoring of Nigeria

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), last week, formally ended its monitoring of Nigeria over lingering suspicions that the country may still be a haven for money laundering and terrorist financing. MORE>>