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Uduaghan: NOC investiture, a big inspiration

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Former Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has described as a big inspiration his inclusion on the list of prominent personalities to be honoured by the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC). Uduaghan was on Wednesday listed as one of the NOC patrons to be honoured for their contributions to the Olympic movement.

Uduaghan, whose tenure as governor in Delta State witnessed massive results in the sports sector, was listed alongside former Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Oba S. A Elegushi, Gbong Gwon Jos, Da Jacob Buba Gyang, Sir Mark Wabara, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, Major-General Adamu Dyeri (rtd), M. A. Abubakar and Alhaji Bashari Mohammed Gumel by the NOC for its investiture ceremony for patrons on October 23 in Lagos.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Uduaghan, who is aspiring for Delta South Senatorial ticket under the APC in the 2019 elections, said his inclusion on the list was an indication that the NOC took proper records, and also appreciated the work he did for sports while he was governor of Delta State.

“There is always a reward for anything you do in life, good or bad. While I was Governor of Delta State, some people accused me of paying so much attention to the sports sector. But I refused to back down because sports is one of the avenues to prepare the youths for future challenges. I was an athlete in my youthful days, and I enjoyed every bit of the sector as governor because Team Delta actually got the results we wanted. I will continue to play my role by giving Nigerian youths the motivation they need to excel in national and international competitions,” Uduaghan stated.

As patrons of the Olympic Movement, the honourees will become iconic international sports personalities, carrying the emblem of Nigeria globally.

One bold step Uduaghan took shortly after he assumed office as governor of Delta State in 2007 was the creation of Delta Sports Commission, which gave sports activities a professional and institutional leverage.

Team Delta was able to continue its dominance in the National Sports Festival, winning at KADA 2009, second at Garden City 2011 and champions at Eko 2012.

Uduaghan’s administration also saw Delta winning the National Channel’s Kids Cup in Lagos in 2013, while Warri Wolves qualified for the finals of the 2014 Federation Cup, the first time in thirty years by any male club from the state. His passion for sports led to the revival of secondary school football competition by staging the biggest Governor’s Cup competition ever among public schools in 2013 and 2014.

His cash motivation for athletes gave the likes of Blessing Okagbare, Ese Brume and Divine Oduduru the backing they needed to excel at various competitions.

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EFCC denies arresting Atiku’s sons

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied arresting the sons of Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

EFCC’s Acting Spokesperson, Mr Tony Orilade, made the denial in a statement in Abuja, on Monday.

According to Orilade, we have received several calls and e-mail messages asking us to confirm the arrest of the sons of Abubakar as being alleged in some quarters.

”Some only said we raided the apartments of Atiku’s sons looking for foreign currencies.

”This is nothing but another tales by moonlight.”

He said that the commission, as a responsible organisation, was abreast of the establishment mandate and shall not deviate from such mandate.

”We never went after Atiku’s sons, neither were Atiku’s sons among the two boys arrested.”

The spokesperson, however, said “it is in the news that we have been investigating the former Abia governor, Sen. Theodore Orji, over alleged N27 billion money-laundering.

”In the course of investigation, we discovered that he laundered part of the money through his sons.

”We have been on the trail of some of the purchases made by his sons, including the cars the boys allegedly bought.

”There is no link whatsoever to Atiku.” (NAN)

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Alleged 1.4bn fraud: I’m innocent – NBA President cries out

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President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr Paul Usoro, says he is innocent of the N1.4 billion money laundering charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr Usoro stated this while fielding questions from reporters on Sunday after the NBA National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja.

He said, “I haven’t been served. I expect I will be served but the facts as I know it, I am completely innocent and the facts as I know it, I presented it in the address that was adopted by NEC.”

“Assuming that there was something that was done; except the association itself makes a complaint to the EFCC or any of the other criminal investigating agencies, then they don’t have any basis having to come in into what we are doing,” Usoro added.

“We are an association of lawyers; we have a way of regulating ourselves.”

The NBA President, however, said he would appear in court.

He further called for a legislation that would prohibit media trial of persons in court.

According to him, the situation if not addressed will lead to maligning of character whether or not one is innocent or guilty of the offence he is charged with.

The EFCC had filed 10 counts of fraudulent conversion of N1.4bn against the NBA President before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

In the first count, the EFCC alleged that Mr Usoro and some persons conspired in 2015 to convert the sum of N1.4bn property of the Akwa Ibom State Government which they ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of crime.

The others accused by the anti-graft agency are Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State (who currently enjoys constitutional immunity against criminal prosecution), as well as the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Nsikan Nkan; the Accountant-General, Mfon Udomah; the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice; Uwemedimo Nwoko; and Margaret Ukpe.

The EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, who signed the charge sheet said the offences were contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.

Five senior advocates – Gboyega Awomolo, Tayo Oyetibo, Theophilus Oyesanya, Onyechi Ikpeazu, and Damian Dodo, have been listed as witnesses along with some bank representatives to give evidence in the matter.

The commission said it would arraign Mr Usoro on Monday, December 10.

-ChannelsTV

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2019: I’m not neutral, vote out Buhari – Obasanjo declares

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that only a fool would sit on the fence when his country was being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism and brazen impunity.

Obasanjo warned that if Nigerians failed to become active and get much needed change of the current administration, what they would suffer would be much worse than their current situation.

He said this while reacting to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) titled, “Atiku: Obasanjo Shifts Political Gear to Neutral,” which suggested that he would not campaign for any particular candidate in 2019.

He had spoken at the 27th annual Owu National Convention held on Saturday in Iwo, Osun State.

But in a statement issued yesterday by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, the ex-president said it was disingenuous and malicious for anyone to suggest that he was being neutral.

He warned against manipulating his position on the 2019 presidential election to perpetrate or perpetuate Nigeria’s continued destruction.

Obasanjo stressed that nobody should fool himself or deceive others about his position that “what we have currently and as the affairs of Nigeria are being run is not the best for Nigeria.”

The former president urged Nigerians who are victims of the current situation in the land to stop complaining but go out to get beneficial change.

“They must know that such change will not come if they remain inactive just complaining and complacent and they allow themselves to be deceived by sycophants and enemies of Nigeria,” he added.

Obasanjo, who had faulted the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari, recently endorsed the ambition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for 2019.

He maintained in his statement titled, “2019 elections and reports of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s neutrality,” that he will remain consistent in speaking out whenever and wherever he sees evil as he is known to do no matter whose ox is gored.

The statement read, “While Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is in Cairo to attend the maiden edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), of which he is Chairman of the Advisory Council, his attention has been drawn to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) with the headline ‘Atiku: Obasanjo Shifts Political Gear to Neutral.’

“It is disingenuous, if not malicious, for anyone to suggest that Chief Obasanjo was being neutral when he chose not to use the Owu Convention as a platform for political campaign but instead adopt a communal and familial approach in talking to members of his Owu family.

“For the records, and as accurately reported by some media organisations, what the former President said at the Convention in Iwo was that while he would not impress any candidates on them, Nigerians should vote for credible candidates who will drive growth and development and make their lives better than it is now.

“Chief Obasanjo’s statement did not suggest his neutrality. In fact, the former President believes that only a fool will sit on the fence or be neutral when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism, brazen impunity and denial of the obvious. Chief Obasanjo is no such fool nor is he so unwise.

“The former President reassures Nigerians that he will not sit on the fence when he needs to be out and active for people to know where he stands in the best interest of Nigeria.

“Chief Obasanjo reaffirms that he is on the side of what is best for Nigeria and what we have currently and as the affairs of Nigeria are being run is not the best for Nigeria, so nobody should fool himself or deceive others about Chief Obasanjo’s position.

“The former President further urges Nigerians who are victims of what we have for now to stop just complaining and go out to get beneficial change. They must know that such change will not come if they remain inactive just complaining and complacent and they allow themselves to be deceived by sycophants and enemies of Nigeria.

“If they do not become active and get much needed change of the current administration to a government that will improve the economy, regain the confidence of investors and generally drive growth, development and economic progress with security, what is coming will be much worse than what Nigerians currently suffer.

“On his part, Chief Obasanjo will remain consistent in speaking out whenever and wherever he sees evil as he is known to do no matter whose ox is gored. Nobody should manipulate Chief Obasanjo’s position, particularly on the 2019 Presidential election and what he said in Iwo to perpetrate or perpetuate continued destruction of our country.

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