Friday, April 20, 2012

Bishop Oyedepo faces N2bn suit for slapping church member

Popular pastor and founder of the Living Faith Christian Church International, David Oyedepo, will face a legal action for slapping a young lady during church service, last year.

Robert Igbinedion, a Lagos based lawyer, confirmed to that he had filed a suit, on behalf of the young lady, at the Ogun State High Court for the enforcement of the lady's fundamental rights to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, human dignity, fair hearing, and freedom from discrimination.

Mr. Igbinedion is seeking an award of N2bn as 'general and exemplary damages' against Mr. Oyedepo.

"If a wrong is done to the young lady, she is bound to receive justice for that wrong," said Mr. Igbinedion, a Solicitor at Salus Populi Chambers.

In the suit, Mr. Igbinedion said that the young lady, while answering an "illegal" alter call, was trying to explain herself when the pastor gave her "a dirty and thunderous slap."

"The respondent (Mr. Oyedepo) made the alter call for witches to come out, he did not make a similar call for other categories of sinners like illicit drug dealers, contract inflators, fraudsters, adulterers, and fornicators in the church," read the suit.

Mr. Igbinedion, who represented the victims of the celebrated Pastor Emeka Ezeugo (popularly known as Reverend King) at the Magistrate court, in 2006; stated that cases of violence in the place of worship if not nipped in the bud could escalate into 'uncountable' dimensions.

Furthermore, he said the calling out of the young lady (and others) as witches are illegal, unconstitutional, and a breach of Section 34 of the Constitution of Nigeria, African Charter on Human and People's Right, and United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Right.

The suit asked the court to compel Mr. Oyedepo to issue a self-signed public apology to be published in two national dailies and one international satellite television station.

It also wants the respondent to issue a similar alter call for drug dealers, corrupt government officials, bribe-giving contractors, and other category of sinners who are members of the church.

In December last year, a video of Mr. Oyedepo viciously slapping a teenage girl during church service for saying she is "a witch for Jesus" appeared on popular site You Tube.

Though later removed, the video went viral within days with the pastor, fondly called Papa, receiving a lot of stick from outraged viewers and members of the public.

One viewer described the act as "unbiblical, barbaric, and a disgrace."

Days later, another video surfaced in which Mr. Oyedepo tried to justify his action saying "it is my ministry to slap" and that the fact that the witch, rather than going to court, apologized showed his superiority.

"People now complain on the Internet that I slapped a witch. If I see another one, I'll slap," he said in the video.

Source: @newsbytesnow

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Boko Haram Kills Spokesman Abu Qaqa II

The division in the dreaded Islamist sect Boko Haram deepened at the weekend with the murder of Abu Qaqa II, the spokesman of the militant group suspected to have taken over from Abu Qaqa I who was captured last January and has been in the custody of the State Security Service.

Abu Qaqa II was believed to have been killed on the instruction of the leader of the sect, Abu Shekau, for attempting to back out of their reign of terror.

He was said to have tried to denounce the sect after being trailed intensively by security agents, which forced him to change locations on several occasions.

The news of his killing coincided with the disclaimer by Vice President Namadi Sambo that the Boko Haram attacks have religious undertones.

Abu Qaqa II, whose real name is Mohammed Anwal Kontagora, was from Kontagora in Niger State. He adopted the name Abu Qaqa in February after the original Abu Qaqa, also known by many aliases, including Abu Dardaa, Mohammed Shuaibu and Abu Tiamiya, was arrested in January.

Kontagora, like his predecessor, was non-Kanuri, so the decision to terminate his life by the Boko Haram leader, as has transpired with other non-Kanuri members of the sect, was said to have been decided summarily.

The sect was said to be shopping for Abu Qaqa III as its new spokesman.

Security sources revealed that the division and subsequent killing of the spokesman resulted from the sect's inability to either own up or disassociate itself from the Easter Sunday bomb blast in Kaduna that killed so many commercial motorcyclists and tea vendors.

"This again might have forced Abubakar Shekau (now looking leaner) to personally appear on You-Tube to reply to a statement credited to President Goodluck Jonathan while he was in South Korea," the source said.

However, Sambo, in Washington D.C. at the weekend, dismissed claims that attacks by Boko Haram terrorists have a religious undertone.

Sambo, while fielding questions from Nigerians in the Diaspora at a meeting on Friday in Washington DC, said the bloodletting in the north was the handiwork of terrorists.

He also spoke on efforts being made by the federal government to restore normalcy and tackle other problems besetting Nigeria.

"The security issue that is happening in the north is not a religious problem. It is an unfortunate problem being created by some hoodlums, people that have terrorist tendencies in their mind," stated Sambo who also disputed the claim that there was religious violence-inspired emigration in various parts of the country.

"I will like to correct one impression. This issue that Christians are moving from the north and the Muslims are leaving the south is wrong. I beg to disagree with that notion because it is not happening," he said.

According to him, as part of efforts to tackle terrorism, the government has reached out to major stakeholders, especially religious leaders to "direct Nigerians in the right directions."

He assured the gathering that Jonathan had been holding security meetings aimed at addressing the challenges.
Sambo also listed the programmes of the current administration to put the country on a strong footing.

He said Jonathan had assured Nigerians of free, fair and credible elections when he came on board and had delivered on that promise with the successful conduct of the 2011 general elections.

"Besides, the current administration is bringing integrity, honesty and competence into governance through the appointment of seasoned persons to fill top public offices and the way the government runs its business."

He listed the reform in the power sector and other efforts being made to revive the sector as well as attempts to fight corruption as part of the determination of the Jonathan administration to create a new order.

He pledged that by the end of this year, rail transportation would commence from Lagos to Kano, while government was also working on fast rail transportation from Lagos to Ibadan, and from Kaduna to Abuja.

In addition, the vice president said four international airports - Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano - were being expanded, while remedial work was ongoing in all other airports across the country.

One of the highlights of the meeting was when a clergyman, who said he had come from Nigeria purposely to attend the event told Sambo, before asking his question, that he sees him becoming the president.

In a quick response, Sambo said: "I forgot to mention to my Lord Bishop that I like being vice president and thank God for the president.

"I recalled that when I met with Vice President Biden (his US counterpart), we did hold discussions during which he assured me that he likes meeting with vice presidents and he likes being a vice president.

"So, the same thing is applicable to me. As vice president, I like being vice president and I will support our president."

At the meeting were Sambo's wife, Amina, Nigerian Ambassador to US, Prof. Adebowale Adefuye, his wife, Catherine, Rivers State governor, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, Minister of Agriculture, Dr.Akin Adesina, and a former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Howard Jeter.

Sambo, who arrived in US last Monday, is due to depart for Nigeria on Tuesday.

Source: This Day

Saturday, April 14, 2012



Muhammadu Buhari and the 2015 Presidential contest.
The Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, has noted the furore engendered by the statement credited to the Party's National Leader, General Muhamadu Buhari (GMB) while receiving a delegation of Political admirers in Kaduna some days ago. In that occasion, GMB had stated, inter-alia, that owing to the leadership deficit and the truncation of the hope of the common man through the pervasive injustice in the land, he would continue relevant political activism in the run to the 2015 general elections.
True, GMB told the Nation, during the electioneering campaigns for the 2011 Presidential elections, that he would not be contesting the nation's subsequent elections.
It is almost a year ago since he made that statement. Indeed, the Nigerian nation has been tottering as a result of the besmirched reputation of an inept, dishonest and egregiously incompetent political leadership; the Party's leadership has brought to bear immense pressure on GMB to rescind his earlier stance on Nigeria's tempestuous politics.
Meanwhile, the CPC is in alliance and possible merger talks with other progressive coalition partners in order to give true meaning to democratic governance within the Nigerian polity. It is our considered opinion that it would be rather preemptive to speculate at this time what the choice of these coalition partners shall be. However, what is unmistakably true is that, as the Almighty God grants the enablement, GMB shall continue to actively participate in the politics under the Nigerian nation-space.
God bless Nigeria.
Rotimi Fashakin (Engr.)
National Publicity Secretary, CPC.
(Saturday, 14th April, 2012).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Seyi Taylor: 5 reasons you cannot build Instagram in Nigeria

Instagram has been in the news in the past two weeks.  First, they launched their long-awaited Android app, reaching a whopping 1 million downloads in the first day, adding to their tally of 30 million users and becoming the largest mobile photo-sharing application in the world.

Then, they got acquired by Facebook for $1 billion (about 1/8th of the notorious fuel subsidy) in a shares/cash deal making the team of 13 and their venture backers very rich, very quickly. So, I know; the question on the lips of many in Nigeria's vibrat tech scene has been, "Can we build an Instagram in Nigeria?"  My answer is a resounding NO, and here are my five reasons:

1. Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria (or whatever they call themselves these days)
The number one reason why you cannot build Instagram in Nigeria is the lack  of power.  What does that have to do with anything you ask?  Well, in Nigeria, there are many scenarios - you either suffer periods of no productivity due to lack of electricity, you suffer reduced productivity because your small generator cannot "carry" your air conditioner, or you spend a lot of money on poor productivity with a noisy and expensive generator that can.  Either way, you use all the time and energy that should have been spent building the perfect photosharing app dealing with power problems.

2. The in-built inefficiency of the Nigerian system
Everything in Nigeria takes twice as long to do.  Want to register a company? Come back next month.  Get an ATM card?  Stay tuned for next week's episode of "the PIN is not ready".  Want to 'quickly' get to Victoria Island and come back?  Try astral projection.

One of the first things that people comment on when they leave Nigeria is how their productivity sky-rockets.  Why?  Perhaps because everyone else seems to know the value of time.  Or perhaps everyone is not trying doubly hard to create a relatively normal existence-taking 10 minutes off work to switch on and off their generators, trying that call a 7th time because the first 6 calls were dropped or simply wondering how long it takes your staff to find a recharge card on Sunday!  Nigeria is inherently inefficient and I'm not quite sure how you'll build an engineering-intensive application in Nigeria.

3. No ISP in Nigeria
You know the people saying that 29 is too late to be a billionaire?  It's their fault you're 33 and still joining thousands together.  How do you build a world-beating web application when you're struggling with a poor internet connection all day?  Never mind that these connections are among the most expensive in the world.  If you're struggling to attach a picture to your mail, do you honestly think you're going to be able to upload your app to the cloud today?

4. Where are the developers?
It's not that we don't have any developers, it's just that we don't have Instagram-level developers.  As simple as Instagram looks, the amount of technical work that has gone into delivering a simple, seamless photo-sharing experience is insane.  Ask any tech entrepreneur in Nigeria and they'll tell you that to establish a team of local developers that can deliver that level of technical detail is near impossible.

Kevin Systrom, the acquiree, isn't 30 yet.  Mark Zuckerberg, the acquirer, is 24.  In Nigeria, these men would currently be fighting mosquitoes in a village in the name of "national service".  But what greater service than the capital gains taxes that would be paid to the US government from this transaction?

My position on NYSC should be well-known: it should be voluntary.  I have nothing but respect for people who choose to leave lives of privilege to attend to the less-fortunate, but I have a big problem with it being compulsory.  The current system, however, means that potential company builders would have to take a compulsory 1-year break for reasons that are spurious at best.

And there you have it: 5 reasons you cannot build Instagram in Nigeria.

Depressed yet?

Source: YNAIJA

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lagos govt moves against indiscriminate parking at bus-stops

As part of efforts to ensure that motorists adhere strictly to various rules guiding vehicle inspection in the state, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation has handed over five Hilux patrol vehicles to the Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIOs in the state.

Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, while handing over the vehicles, weekend in Lagos, said the need to increase the vehicles in the fleet of VIOs became necessary to address the indiscriminate acts of motorists, especially commercial bus operators, who park indiscriminately on the roads and at undesignated bus stops to pick and discharge passengers especially at CMS, Apongbon, Dopemu to Iyana Ipaja, along Abeokuta Expressway.

Opeifa who condemned the continuous abuse of Apongbon, CMS, Oworonsoki, Alapere-Toll gate and Ikeja Along, among others by commercial bus operators, said henceforth, no commercial bus operators should stop or park at unapproved bus stops.

He said that with the additional vehicles, the VIOs will monitor and ensure that all vehicles that ply the roads are roadworthy and that commercial vehicles do not have any inscription on them.

Opeifa added that the VIOs and officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, had been directed to ensure that commercial bus operators comply with the directive.

Source: ynaija

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Explosion rocks Kaduna

Reports from Kaduna say a bomb has exploded at Sardauna Crescent, near the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in the city centre.

We are unable to ascertain casualty figures and extent of damage at this point. But there are claims that more than 20 people might have died with several others admitted to hospitals around the city.

The National Emergency Management Agency says it has mobilised rescue and security agencies to the scene of the explosion.

Spokesperson for the agency, Yushau Shuaibu, says commercial motorcyclists were major victims.

The police in Kaduna could not be reached for comments.

An eyewitness, Isa Musa, however informed us that the explosion occurred inside a vehicle being used to convey explosive devices to an unknown destination.

Mr. Musa also said the occupants of the car tried to abandon it when they realised the device would explode.  The car however exploded as soon as as the men alighted from it.

"The bomb exploded when they abruptly stopped and came down from the car, and many people have been killed because the place was very congested with Okada men and people taking pap beside the main road,"Mr. Musa said.

He also said the explosion was so powerful that it affected the nearby Fina White Hotel, opposite the scene of the explosion. 

Source: premiumtimesng

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mali's rebels declare independence

Mali's Tuareg rebels declared independence Friday in the north, splitting the coup-wracked country in two, as warnings rang out of a looming humanitarian disaster in what was a democratic bastion in west Africa.

However, France said the declaration of an independent homeland had no standing if not recognised by other African states amid international alarm over Mali's swift collapse in the two weeks since a coup in the capital Bamako.

A democratic success since its last coup 21 years ago, Mali is now roughly divided into a rebel-controlled north and junta-controlled south and a group of radical Islamists have exploited the chaos to swoop in and install sharia law.

Humanitarian groups have warned the country is on the brink of catastrophe as hundreds of thousands of people flee the unrest and rebels loot food and medicine supplies across an arid region already facing food shortages.

A Tuareg rebel group early Friday declared the independence of their desert homeland which they call Azawad, which has been the subject of several rebellions in the northern triangle of the bow-tie shaped nation.

The latest has been fuelled by a haemorrhaging of weapons from Libya following Muammar Gaddafi's downfall.

"We solemnly proclaim the independence of Azawad as from today," Mossa Ag Attaher, a spokesman for Mali's National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), said on France 24 television, confirming a statement on the group's website.

He said the MNLA, which captured northern Mali with Islamist groups over the past two weeks following a coup in the capital, would respect "the borders with other states" and would halt all military operations.

French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said Friday: "A unilateral declaration of independence that was not recognised by African states would have no meaning."

After decades of fighting for independence analysts warn it will not be easy to dislodge the Tuareg from the north now that they have staked their claim. And not all northerners will accept their claim of independence.

West Africa expert Paul Melly of London-based Chatham House said Mali cannot be considered "definitively partitioned."

"Much of the population of the north, particularly towns like Gao and Timbuktu and the farming villages of the Niger valley, is made up of sub-Saharan Africa ethnic groups such as the Songhai and the Peul, who consider themselves to be Malian and have no interest in an independent Tuareg state." However, despite the triumph by the MNLA their hold on the desert looked tenuous.

Ansar Dine, their Islamist comrades-turned-rebels set about imposing Islamic sharia law and kidnapped seven Algerian diplomats in the northeast.

Algeria's foreign ministry said an unidentified group had attacked its consulate in the town of Gao and kidnapped the consul and six staff members.

Amnesty International warned that north Mali was on the brink of a "major humanitarian disaster" while Oxfam and World Vision said crippling sanctions against the junta could have devastating consequences.

"All the food and medicine stored by major aid agencies has been looted and most of the aid workers have fled," said Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty International's researcher on west Africa.

"The population is at imminent risk of severe food and medical shortages that could lead to many casualties especially among women and children who are less able to fend for themselves."

More than 200,000 people have fled since the rebellion began in mid-January.

Angry at government's handling of the insurgency a group of low-ranking soldiers lead by Captain Amadou Sanogo on March 22

ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure just weeks before he was due to step down after an election.

ECOWAS army chiefs on Thursday drew up a "mandate" for a 2,000-strong force that could be sent into a section of Mali the size of France that is now in Tuareg separatist and Islamist hands.

However, an ECOWAS official said after a 12-hour meeting in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan that the military plan still needed approval from regional heads of state.

In Bamako on Thursday, regional mediator Burkina Faso Foreign Minister Djibrill Bassole said an announcement in "the right direction" was expected from coup leader Sanogo and that sanctions could be lifted soon.

Witnesses on the ground and observers say that the real new masters of Mali's northern desert are not the Tuareg nomads but the Ansar Dine led by Iyad Ag Ghaly, which has connections with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Ansar Dine, "Defenders of Faith" in Arabic, has ordered women to wear headscarves and threatened to cut off the hands of thieves in the ancient city of Timbuktu, once the jewel in Mali's tourism industry.

The UN Security Council this week called for an immediate ceasefire but proposed no firm action as the two-week-old junta floundered.

Source: IOL

BREAKING: Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika is dead!

Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika dies after doctors could not resuscitate him when he suffered a cardiac arrest yesterday.

The 78-year-old President was taken to the Kamuzu Central Hospital in the capital this morning after he reportedly collapsed.

There are reports of confusion in Lilongwe as aides loyal to Mutharika delay announcement of death scheming to preclude Vice President Banda from taking over.

Vice President Joyce Banda who had been expelled from Mutharika's party and formed her own would by law become president in event of any vacancy.

Recall that Mutharika was first elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2009 for a 5-year term. He is survived by wife, Callista & four children.

Monday, April 2, 2012

N47.1billion fraud: Court frees former Intercontinental Bank boss, Erastus Akingbola

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has dismissed the criminal charges brought against a former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank, Erastus Akingbola, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, over alleged stealing of N47.1 billion belonging to his bank.

Although details of the judgment are still sketchy, we learnt Justice Charles Achibong threw out the case Monday for lack of diligent prosecution by the EFCC.

Mr. Akingbola was charged to court for a number of offences, including granting of unsecured loans worth several millions of naira and abuse of office.

The anti-graft body had last August alleged bias against Justice Achibong in his handling of the trial of Mr. Akingbola, and accordingly forwarded a petition to the National Judicial Commission (NJC) on the matter.

EFCC counsel, Godwin Obla (SAN), acting on the Commission's letter to the NJC, filed a motion in the court, asking the judge to stop hearing of the case.

But the judge declined to withdraw from the case, saying he would continue to preside over the matter in the absence of contrary directive from a higher authority. He said the case would proceed in his court until the hearing and determination of motion by the Commission.

Courtesy Premium Times

PENGASSAN declares three-day warning strike from April 16

PETROLEUM and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has declared a three-day nationwide warning strike from April 16, to protest perceived unfair labour practices, anti-union activities and general insecurity of members at work places and at home.

In a notice to government over the planned industrial action, the umbrella body for senior employees in the nation's oil and gas sector listed not less than 16 grievances affecting members in the industry which it had reported to appropriate government agencies and departments to no avail.

PENGASSAN in a petition to the Federal Government through the Minister of Labour and Productivity, threatened that all activities in the downstream and upstream sector would be shut during the three days warning strike  preparatory to an indefinite action should government fail to address its grievances after the warning strike.

PENGASSAN in the petition by its General Secretary, Mr Bayo Olowoshile, named the association's grievances to include "unjustifiable mass disengagement and migration of workers to contract staffing and casuals in the downstream oil and gas products marketing and distribution sectors, it said that most of the downstream companies  had totally disengaged members inherited upon privatisation.

The statement said: "Unfair labour practices and anti-union activities of companies in Onne Free Trade Zone; failure to engage PENGASSAN on issues in the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, before final passage; police authority's failure to provide PENGASSAN the reports of its findings on the killings of our two members of NPDC suspected to have been killed by unknown assailants at a police check-point and government insensitivity in the handling of Fuel Subsidy Removal Re-investment Programme, thereby forestalling the anticipated stimulation of investment and business growth."

According to the petition "we write to notify the Minister of Labour and Productivity on the frustration and displeasure of our members in general and the association in particular over the alarming rate of unfair labour practices, anti-union activities and the unsavory approach of the relevant Ministries Department and Agencies in appropriately attending to the reported issues.

Arising from the above, we hereby notify you of a 3-day nationwide warning strike that would necessitate total withdrawal of all our members from work locations with effect from Monday, April 16, 2012."

"PENGASSAN, despite being unappreciated, undermined and chastised persistently tried to maintain relative calm in the hope that Government is fully committed, focused and utmost working in the manner that will either caution, discourage or prevent the high rate of jobs losses, unfair labour practices, anti-union activities and misadministration of national content laws to the detriment of our nationals and employment situation in the industry.

PENGASSAN has now resolved to embark on mass campaign and advocacy to bring the attention of the Nigeria public to the issues in the Nigeria Oil & Gas which point very glooming picture for the entire nation."