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Fans gift BBNaija’s Ozo house on birthday

 

Ozo, former housemate at the 2020 Big Brother Nigeria (BBNaija) reality TV show, has been gifted a house on the occasion of his 29th birthday.

In a now-viral video, the reality TV star can be seen receiving a huge key to the house amid cheers from his fans that were gathered at the event.

The sports analyst and consultant, born Ozoemena Joseph Chukwu, was also presented with a well-decorated cake shortly after the house was launched.

In an Instagram post, Ozo expressed his gratitude to those who celebrated him on his special day.

“A year older. Can’t take anything on this earth for granted. I’m really grateful for all the love and prayers. ‘Do numbers and remain humble,” he wrote.

Ozo was one of the popular names during last year’s edition of the reality TV show christened ‘Lockdown’.

He was the subject of discussion on social media for his relationship with Nengi, his former colleague on the show.

While the show lasted, the entrepreneur emerged as the head of house (HoH) on two different occasions.

He has continued to pull the strings since the show ended, snagging several endorsements while he also boasts of a huge fan base.

 

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Why Nigeria didn’t win 1994 World Cup – Sunday Oliseh reveals

 

Former Super Eagles captain, Sunday Oliseh, has said the team had the “ingredients” to win the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA.

However, according to him, “the overall circumstances weren’t in our favour”.

Nigeria qualified for the tournament for the first time that year.

The Clement Westerhof-coached team were grouped along with Argentina, Greece, and Bulgaria, topping the group on goal difference.

However, they were eliminated by Italy in the second round.

“I still think we had the potential to win that year.

“All the ingredients were there, but the overall circumstances weren’t in our favour.

“At any rate, it had nothing to do with our squad, which had the talent to go all the way,” Oliseh told FIFA website.

News

PDP woes continue as BOT member Joy Emodi joins APC

The woes of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party have continued, the latest being the defection of Senator Joy Emodi to the ruling APC.

Emodi is a member of the PDP Board of Trustees.

Her defection comes barely 24 hours after seven members of the party’s NWC resigned en masse, citing difficulties in working with party chairman Uche Secondus.

Governor Mai Mala Buni, Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), received Emordi in a brief ceremony in Abuja on Wednesday.

Emordi said she was convinced the future of a prosperous and united Nigeria lies in the APC, according to a statement by Buni’s Director Press and Media Affairs to Buni, Malam Mamman Mohammed.

She further described the APC leadership as sincerely and genuinely committed to a united Nigeria with plans for the future generation.

She assured APC leaders of her loyalty and support.

“The APC-led federal government is working for the South East and this is attracting more PDP members into APC.”

Buni expressed delight with the decision of PDP BOT member to join the APC.

“There is a need for us to join hands for the political stability and national unity of our dear country,” Buni said.

He expressed optimism the coming of Sen. Emodi and other prominent politicians from the southeast into the APC will promote national unity.

“The South East is a strong political bloc and very crucial to the unity of the country.

“This will no doubt add to national cohesion, ” the chairman added.

Emodi, 66 years old, was a two term senator, representing Anambra North from 2003. She left the senate in 2010, after her second term election was annulled.

She attended the Queen of the Rosary College, Onitsha and went on to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where she earned a B.Sc. in Geography Education (1979).

She returned for an LLB. Law (1985) and was called to the bar in 1987.

She flirted with APGA and later returned to the PDP as a BOT member.

News

‘Strong chieftain bent on hijacking PDP’ —Secondus cries out

As mass resignation rocks the National Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, the media office of the National Chairman of the opposition party, Uche Secondus, has raised the alarm that a “strong party chieftain” is bent on hijacking the party structure.

 

Secondus’ Special Adviser on Media, Ike Abonyi, made this known in a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘Who is after Secondus and why is somebody in love of caretaker?’

 

The allegation against a faceless “strong chieftain” of the PDP is coming amid the fresh crisis that hit the party as seven members of its NEC resigned from their offices on Tuesday.

 

The seven officers who resigned were Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi; Deputy National Legal Adviser, Ahmed Liman; Deputy Women Leader, Umoru Hadizat; Deputy Auditor, Divine Arong; Deputy National Organising Secretary, Hassan Yakubu; Deputy Financial Secretary, Irona Alphonsus and one other whose identity was not known.

 

In their separate resignation letters, the party officials cited “bad treatment” by the PDP National Chairman as the reason for their action.

But reacting in the statement through his media office, Secondus wondered “why few months to National Convention of the party, somebody is routing for a Caretaker Committee to run the affairs of the party.”

 

The statement read, “The media office of the National Chairman is privy to intelligence that the strong party chieftain bent on hijacking the party structure for destruction is still on the loose with the main agenda of denting the image of Prince Uche Secondus the National Chairman.

 

“Reports reaching this office shows clearly that this character is deploying all devious means to try and diminish the person and character of the National Chairman with a view to having his way of ultimately hijacking the structure for his disproportionately large ambition.

 

“We, therefore, wish to alert the general public particularly media houses and party stakeholders to look out for strange deployment of luring gifts from this destructive ‘Father Christmas’ all aimed at having a grip on the soul of our party by having a caretaker Committee.

 

“What continues to shock many party observers is the real reason behind the desperation of this man to get at the National Chairman and the quantum of public funds being expended to achieve this illicit goal a few months to the National Convention.

 

“Few months to National Convention anybody who means well for this party and who is a true democrat should respect the constitution of the party and approach issues dispassionately.

 

“Prince Secondus through the media office however wishes to assure all critical stakeholders of our great party that every reasonable step is being taken to ensure that the image and status of the party are not injured by all these needless noise and scheming by desperadoes.”

News

‘Different from Bitcoin’ — what you need to know about eNaira, CBN’s proposed digital currency

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that it will launch the pilot scheme of its digital currency (eNaira) by October 1, 2021.

Rakiya Mohammed, CBN director of information technology, had disclosed this during a private webinar with stakeholders on July 22.

She explained that the apex bank is still conducting research on the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) since 2017.

According to her, the project name is tagged ‘GIANT,’ while the eNaira will be operated on the Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain.

The Hyperledger Fabric is an open-source project that acts as a foundation for developing blockchain-based products, solutions, and applications. It uses plug-and-play components that are aimed for use within private enterprises.

A CBN document seen answers pertinent questions about Nigeria’s soon-to-be-launched digital currency.

WHAT IS A CBDC?

CBDC is a direct liability of the Central Bank that issued it. It is not meant to replace cash and bank deposits but to coexist as an additional form of Central Bank issued money.

CBDC is a digital representation of sovereign currency that is issued by a jurisdiction’s monetary authority like the Central Banks.

It can be divided into two categories: retail and wholesale CBDC.

A “retail” CBDC would be used as a digital extension of cash by all people and companies, whereas a ‘wholesale’ CBDC could be used only by permitted institutions as a settlement asset in the interbank market by permitted institutions.

Retail CBDC is generally meant for the general public and average consumers conducting daily transactions, while Wholesale CBDC is suitable for exchanging and trading among central banks, and private banks.

IS IT SIMILAR TO CRYPTO SUCH AS BITCOIN, ETHEREUM?

CBDC is a direct liability of Central Banks and issued by a monetary authority. It means that the apex bank can approve or override transactions since it is in control of the infrastructure.

The digital currency will be backed by law to become legal tender.

In contrast, cryptocurrency is private money with no central authority. It is not a legal tender, and it is not a liability of the Central Bank or any of its regulated institutions.

Unlike cryptocurrencies that operate via blockchain networks in a decentralised way, a CBDC is a state-issued and controlled digital asset.

In February, the apex CBN issued a circular, directing Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), non-bank financial institutions and other financial institutions to close accounts used for crypto transactions within their systems.

The apex bank insisted that transacting in cryptocurrencies portend “risk of loss of investments, money laundering, terrorism financing, illicit fund flows and criminal activities.”

HOW WILL CBDC BE ADOPTED?

The CBN document explained that the eNaira CBDC lifecycle includes a 4-step process to full implementation and adoption.

The CBN is responsible for the design, creation and storage of CBDC. 

It would be distributed to CBDC to financial institutions and licensed service providers who will, in turn, make them available to individuals and businesses.

Transactions with CBDCs can either be online or offline. Individuals and businesses will be able to transfer value in real-time via existing and future payment channels (e.g. mobile).

The CBN will continue to monitor and maintain CBDC.

WHAT DOES CBDC MEAN FOR THE ECONOMY, GOVERNMENT?

The CBDC has the potential to reduce cash handling costs by 5 – 7 percent, deepening digital financial inclusion and promote the development of e-commerce.

It would promote formal cross-border payments for efficiency, convenience and affordability.

The CBDC would promote the digitisation of cash and the development of e-commerce, as well as deepen digital financial inclusion.

Its potential benefits to the government include the provision of a reliable mechanism to distribute fiscal stimulus to citizens.

The apex bank stated further that the eNaira would reduce tax leakages due to tax evasion and illicit money flows. It is also expected that the currency will improve cross-border trade, enhance financial inclusion, remittance improvement, and others.

 

News

Evans: Police forced me to sign confession, says ‘accomplice’ as defence closes case

 

The defence team of Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, suspected kidnap kingpin better known as Evans, and that of his five co-defendants have closed their case before an Ikeja high court.

 

Evans is standing trial alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba over the alleged kidnap of Donatus Dunu, chief executive officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Ltd.

 

The six defendants were arraigned on August 30, 2017, on two counts of conspiracy and kidnapping.

 

According to the prosecution, they allegedly kidnapped Dunu in Lagos on February 14, 2017, and collected £223,000 (N100 million) as ransom from his family.

 

All the defendants during the criminal trial have maintained their innocence.

 

While testifying in his defence on January 22, 2021, the first defendant denied bearing Evans as his nickname.

 

He claimed to be a legitimate businessman and not a kidnapper.

 

He alleged that he was forced into admitting to the crime after the police killed four individuals in his presence.

 

“I live at Fred Shoboyede Street, Magodo Phase II, Lagos. I am a businessman and I deal in ornaments and Horlicks,” he said.

 

“My lord, my name is not Evans and I don’t have a nickname.”

 

At the court session on Tuesday, Ifeanyi and Aduba, two former soldiers of the Nigerian Army, while testifying, denied being accomplices to the crime.

Aduba said he was ordered by Idowu Haruna, identified as a member of the police intelligence response team (IRT), to sign a written statement admitting to the crime, but he refused.

 

Showing the court an injury on his body, Aduba said he was taken to a “theatre” where he was beaten and cut with a machete by Haruna.

 

He alleged that in the days he was in custody, three men — Felix Chinemeren, Paul Samyan and Chukwuma Nwosu — who were initially paraded before the media as kidnappers, were killed by members of the IRT.

 

“I was still being told to sign some papers but I refused and I said if I refuse I will travel (slang for killed). At that point, Idowu Haruna brought out his phone for me to look at some pictures,” he stated.

 

 “When I looked at it, I discovered it was the dead bodies of the three men with whom I was in custody. That was how I was forced to sign the papers.”

 

Hakeem Oshodi, presiding judge, gave the defence 30 days to file their final written addresses, while the prosecution was given another 30 days to respond to the final written addresses of the defence.

 

The case has been adjourned till November 5 for adoption of the final written addresses.

News

Customs busts pangolin scales exporters in Lagos, 3 suspects arrested

Nigeria Customs Service has busted a network of pangolin scales exporters, a prohibited animal product, after a raid of a house in Lagos.

The raid on 28 July was aided by the intelligence provided by the Wildlife Justice Commission.

It led to the arrest of three suspects and seizure of 196 sacks containing 7,137 kg of pangolin scales, 4.6 kg of pangolin claws and 846.34 kg of ivory.

All the wildlife products were destined for export, according to a statement released today by the Customs and the Wildlife Justice Commission.

Additional suspects are being sought in respect to this seizure, some of whom are believed to have already fled Nigeria.

This is the ninth largest seizure of pangolin scales in the last three years (2019-2021),

According to the statement, the arrested suspects are part of a well-known transnational criminal network operating in West Africa.

They are linked to approximately 50% of all major pangolin scale seizures over the past three years.

“These arrests have severely disrupted this network”, the statement said.

“The Wildlife Justice Commission wishes to congratulate Nigeria Customs for their quick response resulting in this outstanding outcome against a well-established transnational organised crime network,” said Steve Carmody, Wildlife Justice Commission Director of Programs.

“The truly horrific reality of this seizure is that even at seven tonnes, there were still eight other larger seizures in the last three years, and this network was responsible for at least half of them. We look forward to the arrest of the other wanted subjects and seeing proceeds of crime provisions applied to seize the ill-gotten gains of this network.”

Large-scale and sustained trafficking of pangolin scales, sourced for jewellery and as a component of traditional Chinese medicine, is driving the species to the brink of extinction.

During 2020, Wildlife Justice Commission investigators were offered staggering quantities of pangolin scales, outnumbering the offers of ivory across all the organisation’s investigations for the first time.

This fact demonstrates the continued availability of pangolin scales and ongoing marketplace demand, despite COVID-19 travelling restrictions.

The Wildlife Justice Commission had also identified that wildlife traders were stockpiling their products in order to resume trade as soon as restrictions were eased, a concern that has now been justified by seizures of massive amounts of pangolin scales such as this one.

The Wildlife Justice Commission had pointed out in recent reports that pangolin scales are increasingly substituted for, and trafficked alongside, ivory, a trend that the organisation already identified in 2019.

As ivory prices fall, traffickers are increasingly turning to pangolin scales; in combined shipments, the proportion of pangolin scales has surpassed the volume of ivory.

“This operation is a great example of how transnational wildlife crimes should be investigated and the tangible results that public-private partnerships can achieve by working together to disrupt organised crime,” said Carmody.

“This operation is a major victory for law enforcement and for the Wildlife Justice Commission, but we must acknowledge that other actors will rise to take the place of those recently arrested.

“The Wildlife Justice Commission will use the evidence gathered through this arrest to continue our investigations into the trafficking of endangered wildlife and support the efforts of law enforcement agencies fighting wildlife crime. It takes a network to defeat a network.”

Since it was established in 2015, the Wildlife Justice Commission has facilitated the arrest of 151 wildlife traffickers and the dismantling of 35 criminal networks.

The wildlife products seized during this operation represent the largest quantity of pangolin scales and second largest seizure of ivory ever facilitated by the organisation.

News Sports

Ballon d’Or 2021: Messi, Lewandowski, Kante – Top 7 contenders for award

 

The conversations and debates surrounding this year’s Ballon d’Or award are beginning to gather steam with a few months left.

 

Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi, is the odds-on favourite to win the prize.

 

If the 34-year-old takes it home, he will be winning it for a record-extending seventh time.

 

His eternal rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, is also expected to make the cut as per usual, alongside Chelsea’s midfield duo of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho.

 

 

But who are really the top contenders for this year’s award?

 

1. Lionel Messi: After scoring 33 goals and providing 13 assists in all competitions for Barcelona last season, Messi is widely expected to win the prize. The Argentina captain further helped his case by winning the Copa America with his country, after a 1-0 win over Brazil in the final.

 

2. Cristiano Ronaldo: The Juventus forward made history last season, becoming the first player to finish as top scorer in the Premier League, LaLiga and now Serie A. However, he failed to propel Portugal to the European Championship title this summer, as they were eliminated by Belgium.

 

3. Kylian Mbappe: Widely expected to break the duopoly between Messi and Ronaldo, Mbappe is very likely to make it to the Ballon d’Or podium this year. The 22-year-old scored 42 times in 47 games in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain last season, as Mauricio Pochettino’s men surrendered the Ligue 1 title to Lille. PSG were also knocked out by Manchester City in the Champions League semi-finals.

 

4. N’Golo Kante: The World Cup winner added the Champions League title to his many achievements this year. Kante put in a series of Man-of-the-Match displays as Chelsea saw off Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Manchester City in the final to win the trophy. But his chances could be dampened by France’s poor display at the just concluded Euro 2020, where they were knocked out by Switzerland in the round of 16.

 

5. Jorginho: The Italy midfielder finished the 2020/2021 season as Chelsea’s top scorer in the Premier League with seven goals, albeit they all came from the penalty spot. He carried that form into Euro 2020, playing every game as his country ultimately won the trophy.

 

6. Robert Lewandowski: The Bayern Munich striker won last season’s European Golden Shoe, ahead of Messi and Ronaldo. He netted a record-breaking 41 goals in Bundesliga in 2020/2021, breaking Gerd Muller’s long-standing record of 40 goals set in the 1971/1972 season. Lewandowski was heavily tipped to win last year.

 

7. Kevin de Bruyne: Manchester City’s playmaker, De Bruyne, has an outside chance of winning the individual accolade. The Belgian was instrumental as Pep Guardiola’s team won the Premier League and Carabao Cup. De Bruyne however failed to shine at the Euros, scoring once as they exited in the quarter-finals.

 

The Ballon d’Or was not handed out in 2020, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Alleged fraud: Kyari appears before DIG Egbunike panel

 

Former Head of Police Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, currently on suspension on Tuesday appeared before the Special Investigation Panel, headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Joseph Egbunike.

 

 

Sources said the SIP which is sitting at the Force headquarters Conference room had DCP Kyari presenting his defence to the indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the US to the SIP members until about 9 pm on Tuesday night.

Following the constitution of the panel by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, the panel had a meeting on Monday but commenced proceedings on Tuesday.

 

Kyari is under investigation for his alleged involvement in a $1.1m Internet fraud perpetrated by fraudster, Abbas Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi, and five others.

Latest News in Nigeria News

‘Good intentions but why cash?’ — mixed reactions as Tunji Disu is offered $10k gift

 

Aloy Chife, an information technology expert, has promised Tunji Disu $10,000 on his appointment as head of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

Usman Alkali Baba, the inspector-general of police (IGP), had named Disu as head of the IRT following the suspension of Abba Kyari, who was popularly addressed as Nigeria’s super cop.

 

The Police Service Commission (PSC) had suspended Kyari on the recommendation of the IGP over his alleged relationship with Ramon Abbas, self-confessed international fraudster better known as Hushpuppi.

 

Hushpuppi had alleged that he bribed Kyari to arrest and jail “one of his rivals in Nigeria after a dispute over a $1.1 million scam on Qatari business people”.

Kyari initially denied any wrongdoing, saying he never collected money from Hushpuppi but later deleted the Facebook post.

 

Excited by Disu’s appointment, Chife took to his Twitter handle to extol and congratulate him.

 

He described Disu as a “ray of hope” after which he promised him a cash gift on behalf of Nigerians and their “hopes for a professional police”.

Chife had also said in an earlier tweet in January that Disu is his most preferred person to serve as the IGP.

 

“News: IGPappoints Tunji Disu Head, Police Intelligence Response Team. Disu rising. A ray of hope for Nigeria,” Chife wrote.

 

“Congrats! @TunjiDisu1

 

“I’ll be giving you $10k in the name of long-suffering young Nigerians as a slight token of their affection and hopes for a professional police.

 

 “There is no future for Nigeria unless it boasts a professional police service.

 

“Nations are built by a few good men in their chosen fields. And you, Mr Disu @TunjiDisu1 have an appointment with destiny.

 

“And we’re all desperate for your success.”

Chife’s gesture was followed by accolades for Disu as many Nigerians testified to his professionalism.

 

There were, however, some who expressed reservations about offering monetary incentives to Disu when a similar instance landed Kyari landed in trouble.

 

Below are some of the reactions.