Saturday, 2 February 2013

African Entertainment arrives with new movie

L-R: Alakwe, Atuma and Ikebuego
The Nigerian film industry is set to experience more sensation as another international organisation known as the African Entertainment Group. It is made up of three groups behind which are Pascal Atuma, Chika Alakwe, Duben Ikebuego and Frances Chiejena. It has films such has Only in America, My American Nurse, Okoto the Messenger and The Trace to its credit.
But African Entertainment’s first major movie in Nigeria is entitled No more Bloodshed and it is going to largely depend on Nigerian actors and actresses. According to one of the drivers of the group, Pascal Atuma, the film will make the best the industry can offer.
He says, “We love to depend on quality. Anyone who has watched our movies will appreciate the fact that we are always original in our concepts and execution. We are interested in world-class stars. But we also want to look inwards for raw talents to help develop too.”
Another leg of the company’s mission is a talent hunt project that will, according to Atuma, help African Entertainment to fulfil its dream to boost professionalism in the industry and give young acts breakthrough.
“We are going to conduct a talent search because there is a lot of people in Nigeria and Africa in general who have talents, but do not have the opportunity to make use of it. There is going to be an audition, which is going to be free, where anyone who is interested in any aspect of entertainment can come forward and exhibit their talents. If, as a candidate, you perform well, African Entertainment Group will sponsor you to any lvel to assist you to become known globally.”

I’m an advocate of safe sex –Banky W

Banky W
Less than five years after Oluwabankole Wellington relocated from the United States to Nigeria, he etched himself in the consciousness of people  with his ultra smooth R & B songs.
The artiste, who came to limelight with his debut solo hit ‘Ebute Metta’, has became one of the most sought after bachelors on the single ladies list.
However, his good looks, dress sense and escapades with the opposite sex have earned him the ‘heart breaker’ tag.
But despite the fact that many ladies are dying to be his baby mama, none has been able to achieve that. Saturday Beats got the ladies man aka Mr. Capable or Mr. Gbim! Gbim! to respond to the ‘big’ question.
You are in your 30s, single and love to mingle especially with the opposite sex. If a lady gets pregnant for you right now, will you marry her?
“That’s a tough decision. I don’t think anything should force you to get married. I strongly believe marriage is a life-long commitment and you have to be very careful and prayerful to make sure you get the right life partner.
“As far as pregnancy goes, I think if you make the decision to be sexually active, you’ll be a fool not to protect yourself with condoms or other birth control methods. I am an advocate of safe sex. However, we are all human beings and mistakes do happen. When it does, you just have to live with the consequences by being a great parent to your child, even if you are not married to the mother.”

Funke Akindele battles Genevieve for AfricaMagic awards

Funke Akindele
The AfricaMagic Viewers Choice Awards has ignited a ‘war’ between Funke Akindele and Genevieve Nnaji, who have been nominated in the Best Actress Category. The two  Nollywood actresses are among five screen divas slugging it out alongside Bubu Mazibuko, Nolwazi Shange and Ghanaian Jackie Appiah.
While Akindele and Johnson are nominated based on their roles in the films Maami and The Mirror Boy, others are there on the platforms of Man on Ground, Otelo Burning and Perfect Picture.
In the nominations released on Monday, Akindele also features in the Best Actress in a Comedy category with The Return of Jenifa, where she is competing with Lilian Esoro (Clinic Matters) and Mercy Johnson (Dumebi the Dirty Girl).
Film lovers will also be interested in who carries the day in the Best Actor in a Comedy, where Hafiz Oyetoro (House a Part) is competing with Kunle Bamtefa (Glorious Journey), Bovi Ugboma (The Bovi Ugboma Show), Francis Odega (Clinic Matters) and Ikhide Isaac (Wanna Be).
In the Best Movie Director category, Obi Emeloye  (The Mirror Boy) has Akin Omotoso (Man on Ground), Tim Green (Skeem), Sara Blecher (Otelo Burning) and Shirley Frimpong-Manso (Perfect Picture) to beat.
Interestingly, Phone Swap producer, Kunle Afolayan, also has a ‘battle’ with Akindele as both films are nominated in the Best Movie (Comedy) category, alongside Geore Edmund’s Open Fire and others.
With a total of 28 awards in 26 categories, the AMVCA includes six categories where viewers will vote for winners and 18 more technically-focused segments where winners will be selecsted by a judging panel.
 Joining forces with AfricaMagic is Amstel Malta,  from the Nigerian Breweries family.  At the Nominee Event held in Lagos,  the Marketing Manager – Non-alcoholic, Nigerian Breweries Plc, described the partnership as timely.
He said: “Amstel Malta is a brand that inspires individuals to be the best they can at everything. What better opportunity to anchor that value than a gesture that is aimed at giving back to people who have indeed worked very hard in our very own continent.?”
According to Adodo, the AMVCA is a platform for rewarding talent, which aligns with one of Amstel Malta’s core value of rewarding loyal consumers. “We constantly seek new ways Akindele to reward our loyal consumers. The AMVCA will not only reward talents, but also encourage the up-and-coming to strive to excel so they can be recognised and rewarded”, he added.
The Managing Director, M-Net Africa, Biola Alabi, said the partnership with Amstel Malta was commendable.
She also had words of encouragement for artistes that were not nominated. “This is also a medium to reach out to every individual that is part of this industry either directly or otherwise. Do not be disappointed if you do not hear your name in any of the categories, it doesn’t mean your work isn’t recognised or appreciated. Contrary to that, your input is noticed and deeply appreciated,” she said.

Death in Nollywood: Agwu, others prepare for prayer

Julius Agwu
If there is one reality that is both humbling and frightening in the entertainment industry in Nigeria, it is the spate of untimely deaths in Nollywood.
This and many other misfortunes that have befallen practitioners in recent times formed the subject of  deliberation at a recent meeting of top actresses, comedians and musicians, convened  at the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, to discuss an upcoming occasion where all the big names in the industry would meet and pray for the industry.
At the meeting, which was called at the behest of Paul Emmanuel of Cornerstone Ministries, Victoria Island, Nollywood actresses and audience including  Monalisa Chinda, Aisha Abimbola, Desmond Elliot, musicians  Innocent Idibia, Patricia King of Midnight Crew and top comedians,  Julius Agwu and Ayo Makun, also known as AY discussed the rationale for hosting an all star event tagged  ‘Shift Celebrity Prayse’
Speaking at the gathering, comedian Ayo Makun reiterated the need to seek solutions to the myriads problems besetting the industry, adding that the way young talents are dying in Nigeria, there is fear in every artiste’s heart that they may be the next if something is not done to address the trend.
 He said, “The reason why we should come together is because we want to seek a bond that keeps us together as entertainers, showing that we care for ourselves and by praising together, we are saying that it is time for us to recognise that the problem is beyond our human power and to seek a higher power in dealing with them.”
Themed ‘a grateful heart’, the programme was organised  in conjunction with the Actors Guild of Nigeria takes place on first week of February and will feature a huge gathering of major entertainers in the industry in an all day musical concert.

Ruggedman is a ‘hopeless’ romantic

Ladies, here is a warning: The man you judge from afar most often is the opposite when the lights are turned down.
Saturday Beats’ attempt to get the acid-tongued rapper known as Ruggedman, real name Michael Ugochukwu Stephens, to talk about himself recently was rewarding.
“I would describe my personality as a fun-loving, focused, down-to-earth, no-nonsense person. My ideal woman is not too tall, on the slim side, lovely shape, good sense of humour, God-fearing, and with a sense of responsibility.
“What I like most about women is their affectionate and motherly qualities. And what bothers me most about women is the rate women sleep around nowadays. It is like all the good and cultured women who treat their men like kings came in the generation of old folks like my dad – the men who were in their 20s some 30, 40 years ago.”
What qualities is he looking for in a wife and why is Ruggedman not married at over 30 years?
“Well, I’m still single because I’ve not found my soul mate yet. She must be God-fearing, responsible, caring, loving and should be able to understand the life of an entertainer. She should know what comes with it and just understand it and be able to live with it.”
According to the rapper, trust is the chief thing that makes a relationship last.
He said, “Trust, responsibility and being very open with your partner help in a relationship. And if you are fortunate to have a partner that is God-fearing and is your best friend and confidant, then, the relationship will last.”
When there is someone special, what will Michael aka Ruggedman do to make her happy?
“Anything humanly possible. I’ll try to do those things she wants me to do as long as they are within my limits. Inasmuch as I’m a hopeless romantic, I can go to any length for her. But I can’t kill myself for any woman because if I do, she will go on and marry another man and life goes on.”

I never knew my brother could die this way – Sister

48-year-old father of three, Adegboyega Adebayo, dies while trying to refuel his running generator, leaving his family in agony, Kunle Falayi reports
For the family of Adegboyega Adebayo, January 26, 2013 ended like any other day. It was time to retire to bed and they needed to keep the generator running, to enjoy their sleep.
As usual, there was no power supply at their apartment at No. 3, Abeokuta Street, Iju Ishaga, Lagos. They had to rely on their generator to power their appliances as the night wore on.
But little did they know that it was going to be one long night to remember.
It was a little after midnight when 48-year-old Adegboyega sauntered to the enclosure where the generator was running, in order to refuel it.
The enclosure was just behind a metal door leading from the living room to the staircase out of one their two upper floor apartments.
A source said the generator was running at the time and he felt it was not necessary to put it off and allow it to cool for a while before adding fuel and restarting it.
Perhaps, he had always refuelled it that way, nobody can tell. But as he tried to do so, something went wrong.
Some fuel appears to have touched an inflammable part in the generator, leading to a loud bang.
As Adegboyega yelled in pain, a fire broke out in the house.
Not knowing what to do for her husband, Adegboyega’s wife grabbed their three children and fled the apartment.
She went banging on the doors of some neighbours, pleading for help for her husband, who was still trapped in the fire.
“Help, help, fire, fire, fire, my husband, my husband, our property, ah, ah, ah, help me, help me,” one of the neighbours recalled the panic-stricken woman as saying as she banged on doors.
Residents of Abeokuta Street said the entire neighbourhood was jolted awake by the persistent banging on doors that morning.
“We thought it was armed robbers. Given the way the doors were being hit, we thought it was an invasion by robbers. Nobody could have expected us to step out at that time of the night, with such a noise. It could have been suicidal,” a neighbour who did not want to be named said.
But the banging was followed by plaintive cries of ‘Fire! Fire!’
It was then some courageous residents ventured out of their homes.
They also alerted the Lagos State Fire Service, whose personnel did not appear on the scene until an hour later.
By the time the firemen got to the house, it was too late to badly rescue Adegboyega. He was by then burnt and the two units of two-bedroom flats they occupied were in a mess, as the fire had destroyed all their property.
Charles Onu, whose house shares a fence with the Adebayos, said he did not imagine that such a tragedy could befall one of his neighbours.
“When we first heard the banging next door, we all were afraid because we thought armed robbers were in our area. We had no idea it was a fire outbreak.
“But someone came to my door and called for help, saying there was a fire. I jumped out of bed thinking it was my own house that was on fire. I went outside and saw the wife and three children of the victim outside wailing.
“When I asked the woman what was amiss, she said her husband (Adegboyega) was trapped inside the house. The children too were wailing, pointing to the house and calling for their dad,” Onu said.
Saturday People learnt that before the incident, the Adebayos occupied the two flats in the upper floor of the house.
“When I asked the wife what happened, she said her husband went to do something in the place where the generator was kept. She did not explain what he went to do,” Onu said.
It was learnt that Adegboyega’s wife and children escaped the fire unhurt because they ran out of the building through a back door.
Mr. Arobabaaso Fabiyi, a pastor, whose church the deceased attended before his death, lives three houses away from the Adebayos.
He said he heard nothing when the fire started.
“I did not hear any shout for help. But sometime around 12.30am, my wife woke me up and said a house was on fire on the street.
“I immediately went there and realised it was where the Adebayos lived. I was shocked. I was told he was trapped inside,” the distraught pastor said.
Fabiyi lamented that the fire service did not respond to distress calls swiftly, which made it impossible to save either Adegboyega or any of the family’s property.
“The fire service battled the fire for about 10 minutes and they ran out of water. They had to call for another truck, which did not arrive until 45 minutes later,” Fabiyi said.
Some residents of Abeokuta Street said after firemen were able to put out the fire and gain access to the apartment, it was noticed that the steel door Adebayo could have escaped through had jammed.
The entire compound was deserted when our correspondent visited on Thursday. Debris of charred asbestos littered the premises.
Our correspondent was told the family could not salvage anything from the apartment.
Adegboyega was the Executive Secretary of the Association  of Professional Bodies of Nigeria.
Many people in the area described him as a man who was very concerned about safety.
But the Managing Director of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, had a different opinion.
He said it appeared that the deceased was pouring petrol into the generator while it was on.
“The incident is very unfortunate. Considering all the safety awareness we have done in this state, I don’t think this incident should have happened. No one is expected to pour fuel inside a generator while it is on,” he said.
He said the body of the deceased was deposited at De Mill Hospital morgue in Iju-Ishaga.
Adegboyega’s sister, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Ogunbayo, told our correspondent on the telephone that the deceased’s wife could not be reached for now because she was too distraught to comment.
“I never knew that my elder brother could die in this tragic way. This family has lost a very dear soul. I really cannot describe what we are going through right now,” she said.
Chairman of Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government, Oloruntoba Oke, visited the razed house as Adebayo’s remains were being moved to the mortuary.

Keita offers to pay players

Seydou Keita
Mali captain Seydou Keita says he will pay the players if they beat South Africa to reach the semi-finals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The west African country is involved in a military coup and just recently the city of Timbuktu was freed from rebel occupancy, with the Eagles players having spoken about this conflict while dedicating their performances to their countrymen.
However, with Patrice Carteron’s side making it to the quarter-finals, attentions were vaguely turned to money matters which Keita quickly squashed.
“There might still be some disagreement over the bonuses for the semi-finals, but we said we will work it out,” said the 33-year-old midfielder.
“I, myself, actually told the (sports) minister that if we made it to the semi-finals and that there was still a disagreement over the bonuses, I could myself contribute to these bonuses.”
He added: “You cannot imagine how moved and happy I am to be here today and be able to play a match that will bring joy to my country. This is priceless. Money doesn’t matter in such moments.
“I’m not interested in medals for myself, I want one thing now and that is to give pleasure to my country. I take pleasure in running on the field with my young team mates and in the Mali colours,” the 33-year-old former Barcelona midfielder said.
“The country is facing difficult times but I think our qualifying for the quarter-finals will bring a lot of joy to the people.”
He has made a reference to the conflict after each of Mali’s three games at the tournament to date, even wearing a T-shirt with the slogan ‘Peace in our Country’ after their opening match in Port Elizabeth last week.
“Our country is going through one of the most difficult times in its history,” he added.
“But the government is trying to regain all its territory and people are starting to look up. I get goosebumps when speaking of Mali. There is nothing to compare with the giving of joy to a country that suffers.”
Mali started with victory against Niger, lost to AFCON favourites Ghana and then drew with DR Congo to take second place in Group B.
Now they will face a buoyant Bafana Bafana on Saturday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium where the incredible support has lifted the hosts and given them hope of going all the way to the final.

Keita offers to pay players

Seydou Keita
Mali captain Seydou Keita says he will pay the players if they beat South Africa to reach the semi-finals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The west African country is involved in a military coup and just recently the city of Timbuktu was freed from rebel occupancy, with the Eagles players having spoken about this conflict while dedicating their performances to their countrymen.
However, with Patrice Carteron’s side making it to the quarter-finals, attentions were vaguely turned to money matters which Keita quickly squashed.
“There might still be some disagreement over the bonuses for the semi-finals, but we said we will work it out,” said the 33-year-old midfielder.
“I, myself, actually told the (sports) minister that if we made it to the semi-finals and that there was still a disagreement over the bonuses, I could myself contribute to these bonuses.”
He added: “You cannot imagine how moved and happy I am to be here today and be able to play a match that will bring joy to my country. This is priceless. Money doesn’t matter in such moments.
“I’m not interested in medals for myself, I want one thing now and that is to give pleasure to my country. I take pleasure in running on the field with my young team mates and in the Mali colours,” the 33-year-old former Barcelona midfielder said.
“The country is facing difficult times but I think our qualifying for the quarter-finals will bring a lot of joy to the people.”
He has made a reference to the conflict after each of Mali’s three games at the tournament to date, even wearing a T-shirt with the slogan ‘Peace in our Country’ after their opening match in Port Elizabeth last week.
“Our country is going through one of the most difficult times in its history,” he added.
“But the government is trying to regain all its territory and people are starting to look up. I get goosebumps when speaking of Mali. There is nothing to compare with the giving of joy to a country that suffers.”
Mali started with victory against Niger, lost to AFCON favourites Ghana and then drew with DR Congo to take second place in Group B.
Now they will face a buoyant Bafana Bafana on Saturday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium where the incredible support has lifted the hosts and given them hope of going all the way to the final.

Ojukwu proffers solution to poverty

Bianca Ojukwu
Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Bianca Ojukwu, has advised the Federal Government to partner tourism-related organisations to alleviate  poverty in the country.
In a statement after the Fitur Madrid opening on Wednesday, Ojukwu ceremony noted that developing a good tourism partnership with other nations would improve Nigeria’s economy.
Fitur is one of the biggest trade fair in the world, with over 150 nations participating and attended by over 100,000 people.  It is a platform for participating nations to showcase their products and discuss with potential investors.
“The President Goodluck Jonathan administration should continue to partner with tourism related organisations and institutions because they have emerged as a veritable platform capable of alleviating poverty and will improve the economic status of the country,” she said.
According to the ambassador, the structure erected by the Nigerian delegation, led by the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, was attractive enough to endear exhibitors to them to make inquiries and to buy into some of the products that Nigeria offers.

NFF offers Eagles $15,000 to beat Cote d’Ivoire

NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari
The Nigeria Football Federation members largely see the Sunday match against Cote d’Ivoire as the biggest obstacle to landing the trophy when the final match is played on February 9.
As the build to the game continues, the NFF officials have reminded the players that they would not go back on their pledged to dole out $15,000 to each player if they are able to beat an Ivorian side inspired by Didier Drogba and African Footballer of the Year Yaya Toure.
The Eagles or Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire will face the winner of the quarter final match between hosts South Africa and Mali at the next stage.
On Thursday, a top NFF official reconfirmed to that the said amount is what the players would receive for their effort.
In Rustenburg on Thursday the Super Eagles officials, though, tried to play down the monetary offer insisting they were not “the cash officers for the team and could therefore not speak on it.” It was learnt that they are acting on past experiences where money matters truncated the dreams of the entire country especially as witnessed in France ’98 World Cup where the Eagles fell to less facied Denmark team after spending the previous night arguing over dollars.
For the semi-finals each player will be $20,000 richer if they triumph and get into the final game. For victory in the championship game on February 10 inside the National Stadium in Johannesburg, each player will pocket another $30,000.
Each player received $30,000 after the team defeated Ethiopia and qualified for the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Team sponsor Guinness has also made a financial commitment for goals scored at the AFCON, while the Eagles are expecting billionaire Aliko Dangote to splash more cash after they reached the last eight. Each player was paid about $80,000 when Nigeria finished third at the 2010 Nations Cup in Angola.
On Thursday team captain Joseph Yobo said the game would be an exciting one for him and as such looking forward eagerly to it.
He said, “They are a great team (Cote d’Ivoire) and so we are and we know ourselves well. And so nobody is afraid of the other. It is just a case of top football giants clashing at the wrong time. I believe we shall be up to it.”

Jennifer Eliogu goes to the doctor

Jennifer Eliogu
Celebrities are human like the rest of us. They eat, sleep, and fall ill like everyone else.
Some days ago, popular Nollywood actress, Jennifer Eliogu Uchenna, was sighted in a hospital at Ogba, Lagos. The popular actress known for her radiant smile was not in a smiling mood as it was obvious she was in pain.
A nurse checked her blood pressure and sought to know what was amiss. The actress, who was not her usual bubbly self, said she was having a throbbing headache especially at her frontal lobe and neck ache too. The nurse asked if Jennifer was hypertensive and she said she wasn’t.
The actress was advised to cut down on thinking and generally take things easy. She later entered the consulting room to see a doctor. We wish the actress speedy recovery.

top censoring 9/11 hearing, Judge tells US govt

A military judge ordered the US government Thursday to stop censoring September 11 pre-trial hearings from outside his courtroom, AFP reports.
Judge James Pohl said the government must “disconnect the outside feed or ability to suspend the broadcast” from outside his court.
Proceedings are heard in the press room, and in a room where human rights groups and victims families sit, with a 40 second delay. This is done so that a security officer sitting next to the judge can block anything deemed classified.
The ruling means classified information could still be blocked, but only by order of the judge and not from outside the courtroom.
Thursday was the last day of the latest session of pre-trial hearings. The five defendants, including self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, were not present.
On Monday part of the proceedings were censored when the discussion touched on secret CIA prisons where the suspects were held and abused.
The judge said he was surprised and angry that the censoring mechanism was activated from outside the court, without his knowledge.
This must stop, Pohl said, adding that “the judge and only the judge” can decide what happens in his courtroom.
The 9/11 trial at this US base on the southeastern tip of Cuba is not expected to start for at least a year.
The five men accused of plotting the suicide airliner attacks against the Twin Towers and the Pentagon face the death penalty if convicted. The attacks left nearly 3,000 people dead.

I don’t want to act poor, die poor – Natty

Mr. Romanus Uchenna Amuta aka Natty
He cut a pathetic picture; helplessness was written all over him.
It was hard to imagine that someone who had gained national popularity on the rested New Masquerade series and home videos could be cut down by illness, poverty and neglect.
That is the story of Mr. Romanus Uchenna Amuta aka Natty.
It was a tough job getting him to speak, as a stroke had left him with slurred speech and sluggish movements. Sitting before the reporter was a shadow of the crafty and witty character, which he cut as Natty.
“If government does not come to help me now, then I will die very soon,” were the few words he let out with great effort.
Interestingly, Natty is one of the few surviving cast of the once celebrated New Masquerade,.
The comedy show didn’t just disappear from the tube gradually, it took some of its stars along.
Cast such as James Iroha (Giringory Akabuogu), Christy Essien-Igbokwe (Apena), Claude Eke (Jegede Shokoya) have died, while Davis Offor (Clarus) is currently blind.
In Natty’s case, stroke caught up with him in 2006, and left him bedridden. When he miraculously managed to regain his steps in 2010, he could only manage to limp, as the right side of his body had gone numb.
Currently, he doesn’t just limp or manage to walk and move with only the left side of his body, he is almost a vegetable. Reason: he is slowly losing his memory of past events, old friends and his surroundings.
As he struggled in slurred and un-coordinated speech to narrate the story of his life as a stroke patient, Natty told Saturday People that he had become tired of life and needed urgent medical attention.
He laments that though he is just in his 60s, he is already looking like a 90-year-old due to the partial paralysis that has confined him within the walls of his “old three bedroom flat” on 7, Umuchi Nwoko Street, Off One Day Road, in Agbani Road, Enugu, Enugu State.
He says poverty has further worsened his case, as he can’t afford to eat good food, buy drugs or receive medical attention.
He cannot even afford good clothes or the good things of life, he says, adding that virtually all the property in his residence was acquired in the 1970s and changing them has become a mission impossible.
 “Even the best clothes in my wardrobe were bought in 1984 when I made some reasonable money working with Daily Times Newspaper as an Advert Representative in Enugu. Since then, to buy even pant na war,” he stated.
At a point during the interview with our correspondent, Natty began to cry.
“Will I be poor in New Masquerade and still be poor in real life, and even now that I’m about to die?” he wondered, with tears dropping from his eyes.
He struggled to add, “I’m … … so, so, so, so poor that I could not even cure the stroke when it was just starting. Now that it (the stroke) is even worse, there is no money to even enjoy myself, even if na small enjoyment before I quench like my mama wey die a long time ago.”
Natty’s recurring comments about being poor would definitely take not a few Nigerians down memory lane to how he (Natty) came into limelight starring as a true representation of the ‘poverty class’ of the Nigerian society in the New Masquerade series, which was aired on the Nigeria Television Authority for many years.
What attempt has he made to overcome poverty and stroke, even now that he is supposedly in his twilight years on earth?
“I have reached out to my friends, but it appears they have abandoned me to die.
“For my people (his relatives), they have tried, but they can’t kill themselves. My children have also done their best for me,” he stated.
He, however, says that the major source of his worry is that he has been left to his fate despite several overtures to government officials and political appointees through notable personalities in Enugu State.
He said, “I believe that if government comes to help me my problems will be over. But the more they delay in coming, the more my body dies, and soon the entire Natty will just die and leave you people.
“If they (government) can send me to any of the best hospitals in the world, I will surely get better and bounce back to life.”
Alternatively, Natty is calling on the Enugu State Government to give him land and money.
 “They should give me land. I need a land and money from government. I need money; plenty money,” he pleaded.
On what he would do with the land and money, Natty says, “I will invest in the land or sell it so that I can treat myself or at least take care of myself instead of this poverty.”
For the money, he says, “They should give me plenty money, enough to take me out of this country for treatment.”
Natty is married to Mrs. Cordelia Amuta, a primary school teacher and they have two male and four female children.
They are all living in different places.
He hails from Udi Local Government Area in Enugu State and his children are all grown-ups. Unknown to many, he has a 12-year-old son from another woman whose identity is not known.
Natty’s wife, Cordelia, was not at home on the two occasions Saturday People visited his residence, as she was said to have gone to work. But on the second visit to his residence, the little boy, Okechukwu, was at home and had a lot to reveal.
According to him, his mother hails from Ogugu in Awgu Local Government Area of the state and he is the product of the affair his father (Natty) had with her in 2000.
On his experience with his sick father, Okechukwu, a student of Army Children School 1, Enugu, says he feels pain that he is not experiencing the care of a father.
He said, “Any time my friends in school tell me about what their fathers did or bought for them, I usually feel like killing myself because my father is not only sick, he doesn’t have the money to shower me with that kind of love also.
“Sometimes, I stay in my room and cry. My stepmother has been very good to me, but then I have always wanted to enjoy the tender touch and care of my father.
“He would have loved to do that but he is sick. The things he would have loved to get for me, he can’t because there is no money. My father is dying and I am appealing to people, Nigerians and the people in government to come and help my father.”
Okechukwu added, “My mother is in her village in Awgu, so I don’t get to see her all the time. That is why I really need my father to be alive and healthy for me.”
One of the surviving members of the New Masquerade cast is Chief Chika Okpala, aka ‘Zebrudaya’. Zebrudaya, who was the lead cast of the series, was approached for comments on Natty’s state and he said, “It is really unfortunate that Nigerian actors have been left to die. I don’t know why calamity has chosen to befall the film industry, especially the cast of the New Masquerade that is almost wiped out.”
Shaking his head, the comic actor added, “If Natty dies without the government coming to his aid, it will be so bad. But I know that death is a necessary end that must come when it will and so we will not run away from death.
“We don’t know how we came into this world and we don’t know what we signed with God when we were coming.
“All we know is that we came into this world, we met each other and we propagated the show and the show worked. So anywhere God plucks one off, so be it.
“I will keep praying for Natty and we hope something good will come, and early, before it might become late.”

Eagles can stop Drogba – Chukwu, Nwosu

Didier Drogba
Nigeria’80 Africa Cup of Nations winners – Christian Chukwu and Henry Nwosu – are confident that the Super Eagles can put together a winning performance against Ivory Coast in their South Africa 2013 quarterfinal clash at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, on Sunday.
The Elephants were the first team to reach the quarterfinals of the continental showpiece, after easy wins over Togo and Tunisia in Group D. They later fought to a 2-2 draw with Algeria in their last group game on Wednesday.
On the other hand, Nigeria struggled to hit the stage after beating Ethiopia 2-0 on Tuesday to add three points to the two from their earlier Group C encounters with  Burkina Faso and Zambia respectively.
Chukwu and Nwosu, who admitted that the Eagles face a huge task in checking the Ivorians’  attacking threat posed by 2012 UEFA Champions League winner   Didier Drogba, Arsenal’s Gervinho  and  former Chelsea’s Salomon Kalou, tipped Nigeria to reach  the semifinals.
“It’ll be a tough match,” Chukwu, who captained the 1980 winning team, told our correspondent on the telephone on Thursday.
“We have the advantage because our players are younger, and with their speed, they can beat the Ivorians, who are older.
“Drogba is expected to pose a big problem for our defence but we must deny him a chance  to get into our box. If we don’t do that, he will destroy us.”
However, the ex-international, who led Nigeria to a third-place finish at Tunisia 2004, warned the Eagles against focusing solely on Drogba.
He said, “They have dangerous players like us, but we should concentrate on all just their players, including the goalkeeper.
“We should correct our mistakes during the group stage and aim to win the tournament. We are  playing a big team and I expect a tough match.”
 Nwosu  foresees complacency denying the Elephants victory over the Eagles, urging Nigerians to believe in their team.
The former midfielder said, “Our team should go for   mass attack. However, we should be cautious at the rear.
“Yes, Drogba will be a threat but we also have dangerous players. The Ivorians are also afraid of the likes of Emmanuel Emenike and Ike Uche.”

Nigerians make more purchases than South Africans – Imtheyaaz

General Manager of Mr. Price in West Africa, Mr. Subrathie Imtheyaaz, tells DAYO OKETOLA, why  the average revenue per individual shopper in Nigeria is much more than what obtains  in South Africa
 How would you describe your experience in the Nigerian/Ghanaian market?
It is a new experience for us because it is our first foray into Africa proper. I am talking about the first time outside South Africa. Although we are in other parts of Southern Africa like Namibia, Botswana and others, this is our first experience outside Southern Africa, but more than that, we are really driven by the possibilities available in Nigeria, being a powerhouse of development and economic activities in Africa. Though it has been quite challenging, we are very glad with what we were able to achieve last year.
What challenges would say you have faced since you entered the Nigerian market?
I think the biggest challenge is the culture of doing business in a foreign country.  We have been used to South African ways because we are an established brand in South Africa. We need to get used to the Nigerian climate and culture. For instance, we have in Nigeria a climate that is like an all year round summer. The cold weather in Nigeria, for example, is hotter than the South African summer.  So, we have had to shape our merchandise to accommodate the climate. In terms of logistics, it’s not as easy here with the traffic to get stocks to the stores in a timely manner. So, we need to deal with such challenges. I think we’ve managed to get a good idea of the landscape over the last one year.
Where would say your company’s prospect is higher between Nigeria and Ghana?
Talking about Nigeria and Ghana, it is definitely Nigeria. I think the possibility and the potential of Nigeria and that of Ghana cannot even be compared. Strategically for Mr. Price, we are based in Nigeria and we operate from here.  We will be feeding the Ghanaian market from here.
How much has Mr Price invested in Nigeria?
We celebrated our first anniversary in March, 2012 but store development and operations started before then. So, technically, we’ve been here for over a year. Beyond financial investments, what is most important to us is to invest in human capital. That is, investing in the people of Nigeria, helping to develop new talents and creating job opportunities for Nigerians. That for us is a more important factor.
So, how many Nigerians do you have in your employment?
We are putting finishing touches to opening a store in Ibadan in March, 2012 and people have already been engaged for that. With that we have, about 150 people have been employed on a permanent and casual basis. When we open Abuja in April, we will add another 50 workers, thereby increasing the total number of employees to 200.
Generally, what is your plan for the Nigerian market in terms of the number of stores to be opened?
Generally, our plan is to open about 25 to 30 stores in the country. I think if we can get to that it will be a big success. It will be beyond our expectations. We would have opened four by April and we think with this, we are on the right track. In other words, if we can roll out 25 to 30 stores in three years, then we would have surpassed our expectations. Primarily, we think Lagos is so big and we think there are so many opportunities here that even if we open 10 stores in Lagos, we will only be scratching the surface.
What is your strategy in the area of property acquisition?
Due to the rate of development, we will be very glad to set up about 25 to 30 stores in the next three years. There are a number of potential sites that we have already found. Obviously, not every store will be in a shopping centre or a shopping mall like we have it in Lagos. There will be stand-alone stores. We will also set up stores with well established Nigerian retail companies. There will also be sites where the landlords will have to develop the property to our specifications. We will also renovate some properties to fit into our business. By and large, we will not only set up stores in shopping centres, it will be a combination of both the shopping centres and the stand-alone stores.
How would you compare Nigeria and the South African market?
The potential in Nigeria is unbelievable.  It is something we can’t compare with anywhere else in Africa. South Africa is good and obviously we have been successful there. We have been successful for many years of building the brand but with what we have seen in Nigeria, we are barely scratching the surface. Do you want to talk about the population? The spending power?  The big differentiation between the South African shopping culture and the Nigerian shopping culture is that the average unit per consumer in Nigeria is much more than in South Africa. Nigerians buy much more than South Africans and this is very visible.
How would you compare the Ghanaian consumers’ spending power and that of their Nigerian counterparts?
In all sincerity, Ghanaian consumers also have high spending power like Nigerians. They are almost on par with their Nigerians counterparts. However, as I said earlier, the Nigerian market potential is incomparable.
Who are your competitions in Nigeria?
Though some other international retail brands have also entered Nigeria, but for us the biggest thing is the competition against local market. This is because there is a shopping culture embedded in the minds of an average Nigerian that they should shop in the local market. However, our prices are very affordable and we offer quality products. So, in essence, our biggest competitions are people in the local markets. Though it’s pretty difficult to reverse that culture, our job is to find ways to attract these consumers to our stores and make them experience a different type of shopping and still get the same quality and value.
There was recently a fire incident in your store located at Ikeja. What led to that?
It was caused by an electrical fault. Unfortunately one cannot foresee it. The most important thing was the fact that there was no fatality.  However, a thorough check had been carried out on all the electrical fittings and we have been given the assurance by the electrical company that everything is okay.  The way the fire service handled the situation and the evacuation was world-class and I think I must mention that.

Transcorp, GE sign agreement to address power challenge

A power transmission infrastructure
Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc and General Electric have signed a framework agreement to collaborate in addressing the infrastructural needs of Nigeria, with emphasis on the power and transportation sectors.
In a statement sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday, GE, a global leader in the design, manufacture and maintenance of technology and services for the power sector, confirmed its commitment to facilitate the generation of 10,000MW of additional power in Nigeria over the next decade.
This, the company said, was in line with its existing agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria, signed in March 2012.
Transcorp Ughelli Power Plc is a subsidiary of Transcorp, a publicly quoted and diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in the hospitality, agribusiness and energy sectors. TUP won the privatization bid for 100 per cent acquisition of the Ughelli power plant.
 The framework agreement, which was signed following a closed door meeting with GE’s Global Chairman, Mr. Jeffrey Immelt, and Transcorp’s Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu, will enable GE and Transcorp to explore a partnership for the refurbishment and expansion of the Ughelli power plant in Delta State.
 The statement added that the wide ranging agreement allowed for the provision of technical support and equity investment in the power plant.  Otherareas of collaboration include projects in the transport sector, specificallyin the area of rail.
Commenting on the partnership agreement, Elumelu, said, “Heirs Holdings recently hosted the USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah in Lagos to discuss how the US government can partner with the Nigerian private sector to boost power generation in Nigeria. The agreement we have just signed with GE is a positive step toward the realiaation of this goal.
“As an Africapitalist, I believe in long term investments that create economic prosperity and social wealth. Our partnership with GE comes on the heels of last week’s launch of the East Africa Exchange by Heirs Holdings and Berggruen Holdings, and further signifies our commitment to sustainable economic development, for Africa, by Africans.”
He added, that power and transport were two major areas that can turn economies and drive development.
On his part, Immelt confirmed GE’s focus on Nigeria as a key market saying, “We chose to partner with Transcorp because it is an Africancompany with an investment philosophy that will drive change here and in the rest of Africa.”

Ghana practising penalties

Ghana players have been practising penalties pretty intensely ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final clash with Cape Verde at the 2013 tournament.
The Black Stars have suffered cruel penalty misses at major tournaments in the past and coach Kwesi Appiah is looking to banish the demons.
In preparation for the knock-out stage of the competition, the squad took some time in Wednesday’s training session at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to rehearse.
Among manager Kwesi Appiah’s first five penalty takers will be Mubarak Wakaso, Kwadwo Asamoah, Christian Atsu and a few others.
Captain Asamoah Gyan has opted out of taking penalties in regulation time for Ghana but would be happy to step up if required in the shoot-out.
Meanwhile three of Appiah’s injured players are back in full training.
Striker Richmond Boakye-Yiadom, midfielders Mubarak Wakaso and Anthony Annan all joined the full session for the first time on Wednesday since suffering injuries.
The trio who did light training on Tuesday morning joined, the rest of the squad as they stepped up their recovery.
Their return gives Appiah more options ahead of the quarterfinal clash against Cape Verde on Saturday.
I’m disappointed I didn’t score – Manucho
Angola captain Manucho has yet to come terms with his barren streak at the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
The 29-year old has expressed disappointment for failing to hit the back of the net in a familiar competition such as the showpiece African football tournament.
Manucho cut his teeth with four goals on his maiden appearance five years ago in Ghana with four goals before managing two goals at the 2010 edition staged in his homeland. Though the Palancas failed to go beyond the group stage at the last edition co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, the Real Valladolid marksman maintained his record with three goals.

Real players angry with Messi

Messi with the Ballon d’Or award
Real Madrid players are  “quite angry” with Barcelona’s  Leo Messi following  the  four-time  FIFA Ballon d’Or winner’s  behaviour after  their  Copa del Rey clash with the Catalans at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on Wednesday, reports in Spain on Thursday claimed.
 Punto Pelota and Marca reported  that the Argentina captain  went to the players’ car park at  the Bernabéu in search of Álvaro Arbeloa after the game.
 Messi  reportedly launched a tirade of insults at the Real defender – calling him “stupid”, to name but one – leaving the full-back completely shocked.
Arbeloa’s wife, Carlota,  who is expecting a baby,  was  said to be with the Spain international and was also astonished.
 “What’s his problem?” she asked her husband, according to witnesses at the scene. A Barcelona member of staff had to be called to take Messi to the team coach.
La Sexta television and La Cope radio also reported another incident involving the Barça goal-machine and another member of the Real setup – Aitor Karanka, which occurred in the tunnel to the changing rooms.

Rev King must die by hanging – Appeal Court

Rev. King
The Court of Appeal in Lagos has affirmed the death sentence passed on the General Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, Chukwuemeka Ezeugo (aka Rev. King), by a Lagos High Court in Ikeja on January 11, 2007.
In a unanimous judgment read by Justice Fatima Akinbami on Friday, the appellate court dismissed Ezeugo’s appeal, stating that the prosecution had “surely and effectively” proved its case against the convict at the trial court.
Ezeugo had appealed the judgment of Justice Joseph Oyewole, who had convicted and sentenced him to death by hanging for the alleged murder of a church member, Ann Uzoh, and attempted murder of five other devotees.
The convict is currently among the death row inmates at the Katsina Maximum Prisons in Katsina State.
Delivering judgment on the appeal, the Justice Amina Augie-led three-man panel dismissed the appellant’s contention that there were “contradictions and inconsistencies” in the prosecution’s evidence.
Other members of the panel are Justice Fatima Akinbami and Justice Ibrahim Saulawa.
Akinbami, who read the lead judgment, said, “This appeal fails and is hereby resolved against the appellant. This appeal is devoid of merit and it is hereby dismissed.
“The conviction and sentence passed on the appellant on January 7, 2011 by Justice Joseph Oyewole of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja Division is hereby affirmed.”
The condemned cleric, arraigned on September 26, 2006 on six counts of attempted murder and murder, was said to have poured petrol on six devotees for an offence which he classified as “acts of fornication,” and set them ablaze.
One of the victims, Uzoh, died on August 2, 2006, 11 days after the incident, as a result of the injuries she sustained from the incident.
Counsel for the appellant, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, had among his 32 grounds of appeal, argued that the judgment of the trial court occasioned a miscarriage of justice for relying on unresolved contradictions and inconsistencies in the prosecution’s evidence.
According to the lawyer, there were contradictions in the testimonies of some of the prosecution witnesses, with some saying that the cleric ordered for matches to set the victims ablaze and others saying he only ordered for matches after a lighter failed.
Akinbami said the contradictions were immaterial to the case of the prosecution.
She said, “Not all contradictions in the case of the prosecution will raise a doubt. For contradictions to be fatal to the prosecution’s case, they must be related to the material fact.
“All the witnesses are unanimous that the appellant used matches.”
On Ojo’s contention that the evidence adduced by the prosecution did not show that the action of his client was linked with the death of the deceased, Akinbami said the evidence given by eyewitnesses, and that of a pathologist ascribing the cause of death to “hypovolemic” (severe loss of blood and tissues), showed that Ezeugo’s action was the cause of  death of one of the victims.
“The evidence is overwhelming and damning,” she said.
The justice, who also descended on Ezeuogo over his “dastardly and nefarious” act, ended the two-hour judgment on a philosophical note, saying his action “reflects the moral decay of the society in which we live.”
She said the condemned cleric presumed to be a man of God, “instead of protecting and guiding his followers, resorted to setting them ablaze and roasting them.”
Akinbami added, “He was offering them stone when they demanded bread. He was giving them scorpion when they demanded fish.”
But the defence counsel rejected the judgment. He promised to challenge the judgment at the Supreme Court.

2014: Obasanjo’s ex-aide jostles for Ekiti PDP ticket

Mr. Bodunde Adeyanju
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s aide, Mr. Bodunde Adeyanju, has joined the growing army of aspirants jostling for the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State for the 2014 governorship election.
Also, a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Adewale Aribisala, has joined the race to pick the sole ticket of the PDP.
Some of the governorship aspirants who are eyeing Governor Kayode Fayemi’s job include former Governor Ayo Fayose and Mr. Abiodun Aluko.
Mr. Bisi Omoyeni and Mrs. Abiodun Olujinmi who were deputies to Fayose during his three-and-a-half-year reign are also seeking the ticket.
Adeyanju, who was a personal assistant to Obasanjo when he was the President, said during a meeting with members of the PDP at Emure Ekiti in Emure Local Government Area on Friday that his ambition was divine.
He said he would dislodge the government of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria from the state in 2014.
Adeyanju was upbeat about his chances at the poll just as Aribisala also expressed optimism that the PDP would form the next government in the state and that he would be the next governor.
In an interview with journalists after the meeting, Adeyanju said, “I believe I will get the ticket because God is the one behind me and nobody can stop God.”

17 B’Haram members killed in helicopter strike

JTF spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa
Security forces backed by helicopter gunships killed 17 militants and destroyed two training camps belonging to extremist sect, Boko Haram, on Friday.
One of the camps was located in a forest and the other in a game reserve.
Spokesman for the Joint Military and Police Forces in Borno State, Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa, said one soldier was killed in the firefights, which cast fresh doubt on a ceasefire declared by one purported Boko Haram commander on Monday, Reuters reports.
“The camp was properly fortified and had training facilities, an armoury, accommodation, a drug store, kitchen, vehicle holding area, latrine and water points,” Musa said.
It was not clear which of the two camps he was referring to.
“The camp was used to conduct training and carry out recent attacks, killings and bombings,” he said.
Borno is the sect’s headquarters and the worst affected by the insurgency.
There was no immediate reaction from Boko Haram.
Sheik Abu Mohammed Ibn Abdulazeez declared a unilateral ceasefire five days ago, urging members to halt attacks that have killed hundreds since the group launched an insurgency against the government in 2009.
The Federal Government welcomed the move but said it would not cease military operations to maintain security.
Violence by suspected sect members has persisted, raising doubts about the commander’s authority.
Gunmen killed at least five policemen in two attacks in northern Nigeria on Thursday.

I can’t marry a poor man -Liz Anjorin

Liz Anjorin
Popular Yoruba actress, Liz Anjorin, talks about her life and career in this interview with ’Nonye Ben-Nwankwo
 We learnt you have reconciled with Iyabo Ojo.
We have settled. Nobody settled us. But I don’t know what is wrong with some people. Though we had settled, some people went and dug up the interviews we granted years ago when we were not on speaking terms and started running them again. People would call me to ask me if I saw her interview and what she said about me. Others would call her and ask her if she saw my interview. We always tell those people that we no longer have a problem because we have settled our differences. Even the elderly ones in the industry called us and we told them that we were no longer fighting. During my mum’s first year remembrance recently, she (Iyabo Ojo) was even the first person to call me and pray for me.
So you are saying there is no more issue between you two?
We have settled and we have settled. People disagree to agree.
Who initiated the peace talk?
We did it ourselves. The two of us decided to make up. It didn’t matter who called who first. The bottom line is that we are no longer enemies. Iyabo Ojo is a very wonderful person.
This is actually coming from you after the feud?
Oh yes. I will say it again and again. Iyabo Ojo is a very nice babe. What do we gain from fighting? Nothing.
So there was no more stories of you and her snatching the other person’s boyfriend?
Don’t mind people and the way they talk and the stories they come up with.  Nobody snatched anybody’s boyfriend. We have a lot of things to do. We don’t have time to fight again. Just know that she is a nice girl.
Do you have close friends among your colleagues or has experience taught you to keep them at arm’s length?
I don’t have any special friend. Everybody is my friend. I’m even too busy to sustain such friendship. If I’m not shooting, I’m taking care of my business.
Why are you still not married?
I will get married but I want to take my time. People see us as role models.That means we have to be careful of what we do. It is not how far we have gone but how well that matter. I need to take time before I get into marriage in order to choose the right man. People get married in January and by April or June, the marriage breaks up. My story will now make headlines. I don’t want that kind of life. I want to take my time.
Are you not bothered that you are still single at this age?
I am not bothered at all. I am a grown up woman. I have to relax and take my time.
But are the men coming or is your profession stopping them from asking for your hand in marriage?
Ah! The men do come. Look at what is going on among my colleagues. If you get married to the one that doesn’t have money, you will find out that he is a gold digger. If you get married to a rich man, you will find out that he may have another wife somewhere. Immediately that wife gets wind of his impending marriage, she will go to the press. We just have to be careful. Even if you are getting married to a married man, the man should be sincere enough to take you to the senior wife. If she accepts you, good; if she doesn’t accept you, it is not by force. Some of these men will not bother to tell you they are already married. When you start the relationship, the story will change. It might be that you have invested something in that relationship; it might not even be money. You might have even dumped your boyfriend because of him. So, because one woman comes out to say that you are dating her husband, will you now abandon a relationship you have nurtured? No way!  Women are so many. Even if you give a guy 100 women, you will still find out that some women will be without a man because we are so many.
But how come your colleagues all want to marry comfortable men?
Poor men are terrible people. They can do and undo. Because they don’t have money or name to protect, they will be ruthless. They will even be after your life. You will see them going from one newspaper to another saying nasty things about you. A comfortable man will hardly go on air and abuse his wife. I will take my time to get married and when I choose, it will be the right person.
Do you intend to marry a comfortable man too?
I will not lie. I cannot marry ‘e go better’ man. Please, it will not happen. What a man has in his bank account doesn’t always determine if he is rich or not. But his attitude also matters. The guy has to be trustworthy. He too has to trust me as his wife.
What of your ex boyfriend you had issues with some time ago?
Please, I don’t even want to talk about that. It is a closed chapter. We shouldn’t even talk about it so that people don’t remember the incident again. I cannot go back to the issue.
Who was your first boyfriend?
The father of my daughter was my first boyfriend. We were very young then. He was 23, I was 21 years old.
Weren’t you worried when you got pregnant for him. Didn’t you think of aborting the baby?
I didn’t even know I was pregnant then. It was my mother that found out. Remember I was her only child and she had me in her old age. She was so happy about my pregnancy.  She was just pampering me. Left for her, she would have wanted me to have a child at the age of 12. She also would have loved me to have more than 10 children. My boyfriend’s mother also knew I was pregnant. She too was happy. She had five children then. My boyfriend was even the last born and the other siblings were yet to give her a grandchild. She was eager to have me and the baby. In fact, she and my mother were dragging over who would take care of my daughter.
Why didn’t you marry your daughter’s father?
Let’s not talk about it please.
How do you cope with scandals that  you are enmeshed in once in a while?
I don’t care about the scandals. People will always talk. I am growing bigger and better and I will not allow any scandal to weigh me down.
You are an only child and you have lost your parents, don’t you feel lonely?
It is not only your biological parents that you will call your parents.  God might use some people to make you a better person. I am not lonely and besides, I have my daughter.
How do you cope as a single mother?
I cope very well. I even see my daughter as my younger sister. We are friends.
There is always a stigma attached to single mothers in Nigeria, don’t you mind?
If you are not hardworking, that is when you allow such things to bother you. I am living my life. I am not ready to depend on any Nigerian man or what he thinks about me being a single mother. If you are a single mother, does that mean that you are a bad person? In fact, it proves that you are tested and okay. Do you know what will happen to that one that has not given birth before that you married? Having a child means that you are certified okay.
How close where you to Bisi Komolafe who died recently?
She was a younger colleague. She was a nice girl. It is a pity that she passed on. If her burial had been her wedding, she wouldn’t have had that kind of turn out.  You wouldn’t have seen my colleagues that went there. But look at how all of them stormed the burial ceremony and were crying.  If that number of people had cared and visited her when she was in the hospital, we probably wouldn’t have lost her.  People should appreciate others  when they are alive. You don’t have to pretend you care after the person has died. It is pretence. Her death was so pathetic. She was just 27. A star just faded. A lot of people have been there for donkey years and nobody recognised them. This lady just came and became a star. She didn’t die in vain. She has a legacy. People will always remember her.
A company  endorsed you as ambassador for one of its products.
Oh yes. I am the new face of Dasela tomatoes. The title came with a car. It is not only about being their ambassador, but I also need to project the image of the company.

$620,000 subsidy bribe: Farouk Lawan to spend one week in jail

Farouk Lawan
A member of the House of Representatives, Farouk Lawan, was on Friday remanded in prison custody.
This followed his arraignment by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission at a Federal Capital Territory High Court.
He was arraigned on seven counts of criminal dealing.
The charge stems from allegations made against him by a businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola, that the lawmaker demanded and received $620,000 as bribe from him while he (Lawan) served as the chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Monitoring of Fuel Subsidy Regime.
Lawan had denied the allegation, claiming that he collected the money in order to expose Otedola’s attempt to bribe him.
The lawmaker will spend a week in prison before the court determines whether to grant or refuse his bail application.
The presiding judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, ordered that Lawan and his co-accused, Mr. Boniface Emenalo, should be remanded in prison custody until February 8, 2013, when he would rule on their bail application.
Earlier, Lawan, looking calm and optimistic in a flowing white agbada and grey cap, had pleaded not guilty to the seven counts slammed against him.
“My Lord, I am not guilty,” he said in response to each of the counts.
Emenalo also denied the charges.
Prosecution counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, thereafter asked the court for a date to commence trial, noting that the prosecution had concluded investigations into the matter.
Awomolo asked the court to keep the accused in prison custody.
Counsel to Lawan and Emenalo, Chief Rickey Terfa, SAN, who was with Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, immediately asked the court to grant the accused bail “in the most liberal terms.”
Tarfa noted that Lawan and Emenalo appeared before police investigators on 37 different occasions in the course of investigation into the case.
He said the lawmaker had travelled abroad on several occasions since the police commenced investigations into the allegations made against him.
The defence counsel argued that Lawan and Emenalo had shown that they would not jump bail as they had had series of opportunity to abscond in the past, if they had wanted to.
The lawyer stressed that the accused persons are eminent members of the National Assembly, particularly Lawan, who had been in the House of Representatives since 1999.
Tarfa said, “Lawan is a full-time member of the House of Representatives since 1999; he is also a member of the ECOWAS Parliament for the past 12 years.
“He is one of the founding members of the parliament. He is currently chairing the committee on administration and finance.
“The second accused person (Emenalo) occupies an eminent position in the National Assembly.
“The accused persons have had opportunities to abscond but they chose to appear for trial. The fact that they voluntarily submitted themselves to the police should be considered.
“The most important consideration is that the accused persons are ready and willing to stand trial. I ask the court to grant them bail on self-recognition.”
But Awomolo asked the court to refuse the application.
He argued that if granted bail, Lawan and Emenalo would return to the National Assembly where they might become part of another committee and commit the same offence.
The argument drew laughter from observers in the courtroom but Awomolo insisted that Lawan and Emenalo did not make any undertaking that they would not commit the same offence if they were granted bail.
He added that the offences for which the accused were charged are punishable with prison terms of two to seven years and therefore, are not necessarily bailable.
The prosecution counsel also urged the court to take note that Lawan was among the lawmakers who drafted the ICPC Act, 2000 and as such, he already knew what the law stipulated.
Awomolo said, “We are opposing this application, I urge your Lordship to refuse this application.
“There is the likelihood of the accused persons committing another offence while on bail. The offences for which the accused are standing trial are offences of corruption by public officers at the highest level, particularly in the legislative arm of government.
“The accused in their affidavit did not give an undertaking that when they go back to the National Assembly they will not be members of another committee where they will also demand bribe.
“Your Lordship needs an assurance that they will not commit that offence again. I urge your Lordship to refuse them bail.”
However, Tarfa again insisted that the court had the discretion to grant the accused persons bail.
He argued that since the prosecution had admitted that investigation into the case had already been concluded, the accused persons were not in any position to interfere with evidence.
The judge said he would need time to study the submissions of the two parties.
He adjourned the matter till February 8, 2013, to determine the bail application.
“Pending the determination of the bail application, the accused person is to be remanded in prison custody,” the judge ordered.
Lawan tried to put up a brave countenance when he was being led out of the courtroom at 12:49 pm, although the policemen that whisked him away made attempt to stop photographers and cameramen from capturing his image.
Lawan is also known as ‘Mr. Integrity’ on account of a campaign he led in 2007 against then Speaker, Patricia Etteh, and forced her out of office.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...