Friday, 29 June 2018

FIFA strips Maradona off ambassador role

Football legend Maradona has been removed as ambassador for FIFA and will no longer be paid over his poor conduct during the Argentina and Nigeria match.

Maradona had celebrated Argentine’s second goal by raising his middle finger at fans who were trolling him when the score was at 1-1 draw. FIFA had considered his behaviour embarrasing and hence will no longer be entitle to the fee he do receive from the world soccer governing body for bringing the spotlight to any world cup match he witnessed live. He had also been urged to be of good behaviour in the remaining games he’s going to watch at the world cup if he is to avoid a possible stadium ban. Meanwhile the eccentric Argetnina soccer idol has offered a USD 10,000 reward to identify the source of reports he had died after Argentina’s World Cup 2018 match against Nigeria, his lawyer said on Thursday. The reports, circulated via WhatsApp voice messages from a man with an Argentine accent, said the 57-year-old star had been hospitalized and had died of cardiac arrest. “I gave instructions to make public the decision to offer a reward of 300,000 pesos (around $10,000) to anyone who can provide true and accurate information about the author of the audios,” lawyer Matias Morla told Argentina’s Clarin daily from Russia.

By Mercy Kukah

Tilapia Lake Virus - Ghana Bans Tilapia And Ornamental Fish Imports

Tilapia Lake Virus is a newly emerging virus that is associated with significant mortalities in farmed tilapia. The attention of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) has been drawn to the fact that, cases have been reported across Africa, Asia, and South America that the virus represents a huge risk to the global tilapia industry.

This means all countries should be vigilant and act quickly to investigate cases of mortalities in farms.

In line with this, The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has placed a BAN on the import of all ornamental fishes and tilapia species ( live and dead) including gametes-eggs and milt into the country effect from July 1 to December 31, 2018.

The ban is one of the immediate actions being taken by the Ministry to help prevent and control the virus since its treatment is not known.

The Ministry will follow up with capacity building and awareness creation programmes at different levels to farmers, hatchery operators, extension officers, consumers and the general public to support implementation of simple farm level biosecurity programmes.

Consumers and stakeholders are therefore advised to report any issues arising or related to this issue to MoFAD.

The Ministry will also update the public on any new developments on this in due time.

By Mercy Kukah

Wednesday, 27 June 2018


Today’s, Modern Day Hausa brides have taken their fashion too many steps ahead of what it used to be in the past to more sophisticated bridal styles.

The Modern Day Hausa Brides are known to be absolutely beautiful, from their top bridal attires featuring the most gorgeous mermaid silhouettes, exquisite beading, to  their beautiful and stunning henna designs on both hands and feet not forgetting the flawless makeover to add to their impeccable beauty.

Hausa cultural marriages are primarily based on Islamic rites, the Nikkah which must precede all wedding ceremony.

These Modern Day Hausa Brides are worth looking out for…. Check them out!!!



it’s another amazing and beautiful Wednesday morning and as usual we will be crushing on the intelligent Aisha Augie-Kuta.

Aisha Augie-Kuta is a Nigerian Photographer and filmmaker based in Abuja. She is the founder of the Center for Art and Creative Talent (CACTNIGERIA.ORG) and the CEO of Meermaad Network LTD.

Aisha is a conservative Muslim and Hausa from Argungu local Government of Kebbi state. Born in Zaria, Kaduna state, Nigeria, Aisha is the daughter of the late senator Adamu Baba Augie (a politician and broadcaster) while her mother is Justice Amina Adamu Augie(JSC).

Aisha became interested in photography when her father gave her a camera at a young age. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria after which she proceeded to Pan African University, Lagos now Pan Atlantic University.

She is a beautiful mother of 3 boys that has certificates in digital filmmaking from the New York Film Academy and Curating Contemporary art exhibitions from the Chelsea College of Arts, London, UK. 

Aisha became an Associate for the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) in May 2011 and is also the Vice-President of Women in Film and Television in Nigeria (WIFTIN) the West African Chapter of the
US-based Network. For the love of photography and her creativity she co-founded the photo wagon, Nigerian Photography Collective, in 2019. 

In 2010, Aisha was included, along with 50 other Nigerian women, in a book and exhibition for the nations 50@50 celebrations supported by the women for change initiative. In 2014, Aisha held her first solo photographic exhibition, entitled ‘Alternative Evil’.

Aisha has really made contributions towards girl child/youth development and nation building. She has been a frequent facilitator at the annual gathering of photographers, Nigeria photography Expo and conference; a panelist and speaker at various events; and has spoken at TEDX events in Nigeria.

Aisha-Kuta was sworn in as UNICEF high-level Women Advocate on Education with a focus on girls and young women. 

Aisha has won several awards for her good work. She won the Creative Artist of the Year at the Future Awards 2011, British Council ‘Through-My-Eyes’ Competition 2014 and Sisterhood Award for Photographer of the Year 2014. Aisha was also nominated for 2011 Female Photographer of the Year at ELOY Awards; she was also nominated twice for the Abuja Young Entrepreneurs Award for Media and Art (2012 and 2013).


Mother, Friend Sets 13-Year-Old Son Ablaze For Stealing Memory Card

Obioma Odum, a 13-year-old boy, has died after his mother, Chinyere Odum, allegedly poured kerosene on him and set him ablaze, after she accused him of stealing her phone’s memory card, The Punch reports. It was gathered that the incident was said to have occurred at Umuloghe Agbolughe, in Amuzukwu, Umuahia, Abia state. Chinyere, together with her friend, initially tied the 13-year-old with a rope and gave him many strokes of the cane.

An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity said the two women later dragged the boy into the kitchen and set him ablaze in order to make him to confess. The witness added that the youths of the community forced the kitchen door open when they saw smoke coming out of the kitchen and found the boy on fire. “The youths brought out the boy from the kitchen after putting out the fire. But when they rushed him to a hospital in the area, he had sustained up to 54 per cent burns. “He was subsequently referred to the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, which also referred him to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu. He died at the FMC this morning (Tuesday) before he could be moved,” the witness said.

Obioma Odum, the father of the deceased, said, “I was not at home when the incident happened. “I was at my place of work when my elder brother called me that my wife and her friend poured kerosene on my son and set him on fire. By the time I got home, some youths had rescued and rushed him to the police clinic in Umuahia. “We were later referred to the FMC, Umuahia. They asked us to come the next day and take the boy to UNTH, Enugu. But he died before we could move him. “I have been at peace with my wife until she was taken to a place where she turned into something else. There was a time she broke my head with a cutlass for asking her to severe a relationship with one boy.”

By Mercy Kukah

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

48-year-old female lawyer who allegedly killed husband in Lagos remanded in prison

The Lagos state prosecutor, Sunmonu Babatunde, had told the court that the accused committed the alleged offences on May 3, at Diamond Estate, Sangotedo, Lekki, Lagos. He said that the accused stabbed her husband and mutilated his corpse by cutting his gen*tals. The offences contravened Sections 165 (b) and 223 of the criminal law of Lagos state, 2015. Section 165 (b) provides five-year imprisonment while section 223 is punishable by death. Justice Adedayo Akintoye, however remanded the accused in prison and adjourned the case until October 8, and 9 for hearing. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused first appeared before a Yaba magistrates’ court and was remanded in prison pending the directorate of public prosecutions legal advice. Symphorosa Otike- Odibi, the murdered lawyer, from Delta state, was the second person killed by a female lawyer.

The first lawyer to commit the crime was Yewande Oyediran, working with the Oyo state ministry of justice.

Yewande stabbed her husband, Lowo Oyediran Ajanaku, 38, to death in their Akobo Estate home in Ibadan, Oyo state home on February 2, 2016, after she found out that he fathered a child through another woman.

This was disclosed by the family of the deceased during her court trial where she appeared in veil.

By Mercy Kukah

Tragedy In Egypt As Former Zamalek Coach Abdel Rahim Mohamed Dies After Egypt's Defeat To Saudi Arabia

An Egyptian analyst Abdel Rahim Mohamed has been reported dead following his country's 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia in their inconsequential last Group A clash on Monday afternoon. Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah's 22nd opening goal wasn't enough to rescue the Pharaohs as Salem Al-Dawsari's late minute goal handed them their third defeat of the competition. Hector Cuper's men finished at the base of Group A table at the ongoing FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia having lost to Uruguay and Russia in the first two games.

However Abdel Rahim Mohamed was said to have fallen ill after Saudi Arabia scored the winning goal at the stoppage time. According to the Sun, the former Zamalek coach was meant to join the team of pundits to analyse the game in the studio for Nile Sports at the Egyptian state TV building. A statement from the head Qasr Al-Aini Hospital, carried by Egyptian news site Masrawy, said that Mohamed passed away after arriving for treatment.

Reports claim that former keeper Ahmed Fawzi in an Egyptian national paper that Mohamed looked "exhausted" and "affected" during the Pharaohs' latest defeat. After Salah's goal in the 22nd minute of the game, Egypt keeper Essam El Hadary saved Fahad Al Muwallad's penalty after coming on to make history as the oldest player to feature at a World Cup at the age of 45. But was unable to stop the second penalty awarded to them by the Colombia referee Wilmar Roldan which was carefully scored by Salman Al Faraj.

And he was the beaten by Salem Al Dawsari with just second remaining as Saudi Arabia clinched a 2-1 win, leaving Egypt still without a World Cup victory. Egypt are still winless in their World Cup campaigns with 5 losses and 2 draws, however they will hope to perform better if they qualify for the next edition in Qatar.

Egypt failed to pick any point in their campaign in Group A at the tournament as they lost all their three games against Uruguay, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Despite missing the first game against Uruguay, Mohamed Salah managed to score two goals at the Russia 2018 World Cup, but his goals could not save his country.

By Mercy Kukah

We Raped Our Victim Before And After Killing Her, Ate Her Flesh – Ritualists

A prime suspect and his two accomplices who allegedly collaborated in killing a 19-year-old girl for ritual in Adavi LGA of Kogi State said they raped their victim before killing her and also raped her corpse after the killing.

Self acclaimed prophet Oluwasegun Otaru of the Voice of Canaan Temple C&S Aladura Church, Adavi and his two accomplices, Oluwasegun Samuel and Yakubu Abdulmumuni, made the revelation yesterday when they were paraded by the Kogi State Police Command. The suspects also confessed that they severed the palms of their victims which they roasted and ate as part of their ritual activities for money making.

They were paraded along with seven other suspects arrested by the command over the killing of a policeman and three other persons. Otaru said he was called by God to be a prophet but was deceived by the love of money.

He said he had on two occasions exhumed dead bodies from the grave for money making purposes but which never worked out.

He said he arranged the ritual killing of the late Mercy Moses with the belief that it would fetch him N2.5 million at the end of the day.

Spokesman of the Kogi State Police Command, William Aya, said the suspects were arrested following a report of the sudden disappearance of the deceased.

He said the duo of Oluwasegun Samuel and Yakubu Abdulmumuni went to a hotel in the area where they picked the young woman whom they took to the prime suspect’s temple.

He said the two suspects led police team to where the prime suspect was eventually arrested and the remains of the deceased exhumed from a shallow grave. Aya added that the deceased’s body parts, including head and palms, where recovered from the prime suspect.

The seven other suspects paraded in connection with the killings of a policeman and three other persons were Ubile Attah, Abdul Tijani, Julius Alhassan, Onuche James, Akwu Audu, Shehu Haliru and Amedu Yakubu.

The police spokesman said the suspects were arrested from Ejule and Ugwolawo axis in Ofu Local Government Area of the state.

Aya said the cases were still under investigation and that the suspects would be charged to court upon conclusion.

By Mercy Kukah

Five Lessons To Take Into The Argentina Game Today

Group D has proven the pundits’ right, it will be close till the very end. With goals difference being the first icebreaker, Croatia are just assured of a second round place, not first place in this group at the moment.

Nigeria, Iceland, and Argentina can still make it through in second place, and in Nigeria’s case, they can usurp Croatia, who currently sit pretty in first place.

The permutation experts have a fertile board on which to make all their projections but the Super Eagles have destiny in their own hands.

The 2-0 win over Iceland must have taught Gernot Rohr and his players some lessons they will need against Argentina today.

1. Rohr must get his lineup right from the off
While there was 45 minutes to change the setup to get a positive result against Iceland – that luxury might not present itself against a desperate Argentina today.

Gernot Rohr had the benefit of two complete training days, his decisions on players and formation must be right with the selection of players sent unto the Saint Petersburg Stadium.

In his post-match interview after the 2-0 win over Iceland, Rohr said, “In the first half, we didn’t play well. We changed one player but the most important was to change the attitude of my players to be more dynamic and aggressive, in the good sense of the word.”

As they say in the NBA Playoffs, “It is win or go home”. 

2. The team must do more running

The kilometres logged by the Eagles actually decreased by a kilometre from the match against Croatia. Stats on the Fifa website show that in their first two matches, the Super Eagles were out-run.

Against Croatia, with their world-class set of midfielders – the Vatreni covered more ground; 104-101; and against the Strakarnir Okkar of Iceland, it was 106-100.

The number did not depend on ball possession because the Nigerians had less of the ball but against Iceland they had more of the ball and ran less. The Argentines will be helter-skelter – the Eagles must match them step for step.

3. They must score the first goal

In as much as a draw will may take them into the second round, a win guarantees the ticket.

In Russia 2018, only one team has been able to completely overturn conceding the first goal, and that was Switzerland against Serbia on Friday. The first 25 matches in Russia have seen the first team to score take all three points or a draw at least.

4. They have to start with a fast tempo
Argentina must win to stand a chance, which means they will attack.

If Jorge Sampaoli is still in the dugout for today’s game, then the Eagles can be sure of facing a barrage from the first whistle. But just as they showed against Iceland in the second half, a team is most vulnerable when it has committed men into attack.

The transition must be quick and precise to hurt the Argentines, who are clearly low on morale.

5. Ebuehi has done enough to start
Maybe his relative youth and inexperience, especially in the national team, may have counted against him to this point, but Tyronne Ebuehi showed with that second half performance against Iceland that he is ready to start for the team.

Abdullahi Shehu and Bryan Idowu might be more streetwise but the new Benfica recruit has more guile, speed and ball sense. His judgment in the box definitely needs to improve but that would come with more matches under his belt.

Good luck to Nigeria Super Eagles

Monday, 25 June 2018


It’s another amazing Monday and today we will be crushing on Abdulbaqi Aliyu Jari.

Abdulbaqi Aliyu Jari is a Nigerian social media activist and a Hausa man of the 7 original Hausa State.

Abdulbaqi Aliyu Jari is an opinion writer who has published articles in both English and Hausa languages.

He is a graduate of Biochemistry from the Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto and also holds two diplomas in Computer Science and Law, certificates in Public Health, ICT and History.

This young Fulani guy is a public speaker and commentator; with more than 730 of his articles published in 100 national and international newspapers.

Abdulbaqi was at one time the public Relations Officer of International Students identity card, Nigeria Office.

Notably ‘Ihame’ is one of the works of Abdulbaqi Jari. ‘Ihame’ are new symbols for writing Hausa promulgated; it was published in 3 journals, and 20 other national dailies.

Jari has won several awards as the most disciplined student in 2013 in Usman Danfodiyo University, Distinguished Nigerian Youths Award (2010), Hausa Development Medal, Katsina State Government Scholarship (2009-2014) among many others.

Abdulbaqi was nominated for the office of Vice President Inclusion and engagement, Common Wealth Youths Forum and the office of President National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in 2014, but personally dropped out due to what many believed to be lack of finance which he denied.

Abdulbaqi is the founder of Jaracor, an all Nigerian Social networking App, a host on Nishadi TV, as well as the president of CASREF.


Thursday, 21 June 2018


Waist beads are created to be worn below the belly. They are made with just about any kind of material including shells, gemstone, glass, plastic, pearls, or even clay and wood. Women of all shapes and sizes and from different tribes and cultures wear waist beads. The Bebidi, Jigida or Ileke Idi, otherwise known as waist beads, is indeed one ornament that is fascinating.

Waist Beads can be worn at all times, even while bathing or sleeping. They serve as symbols of sensuality, fertility and rites of passage, passed down from mother to daughter. There are superstitions about pregnancy and the energies of the Earth. Some see them as conveyors of positive energy and healing.

The reason for wearing waist beads varies from woman to woman. Some wear them strictly for fashion, some women even use them as an instrument of weight control; when the strands start getting tight, it’s time to do something about your weight. This practical idea has also filtered down from the early African tribal women and is one that still works today. While you will find many tales that are steeped in tradition, certainly, modern culture has also adopted beads wearing as a fashion trend.

In Africa, waist beads are worn in diverse ways depending on the culture and ethnicity of those who wear them. For example, the Ika people of Delta State of Nigeria wear beads on their necks, waists, hands and legs depending on the occasion. While some prefer to wear them under their clothing only to be seen by themselves or their spouses, others flaunt them on bare bellies or even over their clothing.

However, the colours in African waist beads are open to different interpretations. Some traditions equate certain qualities to various hues: Blue beads could signify knowledge, healing, peace, truth, harmony; a cooling colour symbolizing faith, devotion, and deep insight.
Green colour beads connote prosperity, hope, harmony, healing and ripening; encouraging the wearer to love nature and be generous, humble and self-controlled.

Red represents self-confidence, vitality, sexual energy, passion and courage;
while yellow beads imply wisdom, knowledge, clarity, increasing awareness and calming nerves.

Waist beads are proudly African, beautiful and colourful. When worn properly, they can add to the beauty of a woman’s waist as well as draw attention to her.

They come in a variety of different colours and designs. Some of the more intricate designs that include charms and specialty beads may require special attention, wear, or care.

Here are a few tips on how to wear and care for your waist beads.


We all have different body sizes and shapes, so how waist beads lay on each body differs. To measure your hips for beads, use a string or thin rope to pass round your waist under your navel; allow room for the string to rest comfortably against your skin and above your hips or centre curve lines without falling down past your backside. If you have a high back line, your beads are likely to settle above the dip in your back (sacral curvature). In this case, measure from the lowest area in the dip of your back and curve your string under your navel. You can tie your string and do a pull test to make sure your beads will not fall off. Once you are sure about your desired fit, remove string and measure it with a ruler or tape measure.


Waist beads are meant to be worn low to the waistline, below the navel, and under the belly and clothing. They are carefully worn to prevent them from damaging; if they are long enough they can be won over your head, if it not, wearing them directly across your waist is another way. You can perform regular daily activity with most waist beads on, including bathing, swimming, and exercising. 90% of women have natural shape that allows them the ability to remove beads over their heads like a shirt. As you move the beads up your tarsal, you may gain enough inches in space to roll over your bosom, pass carefully through your arms (0ne by one), and lastly over your head. If your bosom area or shoulders are much wider than your hips, you may not be able to remove them easily.


Your waist beads have the potential to last for several years even with daily wear, if cared for properly. Because waist beads are worn low to the hips, you are likely to tug at them when removing your garments daily, or engaging in interactive/body contact sports or activities. Nylon strung waist beads and beads made with beading wire can both last for years. They can break prematurely if exposed to products with chemical properties that can break down or alter these materials. If you are planning for a spa day, remove your beads before sinking into that mud bath. Nothing muddy is fun to clean. Often, women forget their beads are on their body as they become adjusted to weight of the beads. Thus, you must be mindful of your beads, especially when going to the bathroom; feel for your beads first before you pull down to protect from sudden breakage.


Depending on where you bought your waist beads, discoloration and breakage can be premature. When you purchase beads made with good quality material, be rest assured that your bead will last longer. After bathing or swimming, make sure to pat your beads dry with a towel. For decorative, sterling silver or metal beads that may tarnish or present premature discoloration over time, you should follow the instructions provided with your purchase.


Police Arrest 3 Over Killing Of Benue Priests

The police in Benue State have arrested and commenced prosecution of three suspects over their roles in the killing of two priests in the state. The Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, confirmed that the three are currently being prosecuted in connection with the killing of parishioners including two priests in Mbalom Catholic Church in Gwer East Local Government Area of the state.

Daily Trust reported that some gunmen on Tuesday, April 24 attacked the worshippers while they were observing the 5:30am Mass at St. Ignatius’ Catholic Church in Mbalom rural community of Gwer East, killing the priests and 17 others.

Owoseni told our correspondent in Makurdi yesterday that three people linked to the killings were later arrested and are undergoing prosecution along with many others apprehended from different parts of the state for various offences. On whether a telephone of one of the deceased priests was found in the possession of one of the suspects linked to the killings as gathered from sources, Owoseni declined comment, saying, “That would be all. I didn’t say so.”

The commissioner however added that the command under his watch would do everything to rid the state of criminals even as he did not disclose the identity of the arrested suspects.

By Mercy Kukah

Nigerian Army Officer Shoots Self To Death

A Nigerian Army captain has intentionally shot himself to death at the 7 Division Medical Centre in Maiduguri on June 18 after he was referred to the facility for medical examination and treatments. The unnamed officer attached to troops operating in Mafa local government area of Borno state was reported to be on deployment in the North-east as part of the war against Boko Haram from the Nigerian Army 22 Armoured Brigade in Ilorin.

His name has, however, been withheld because it was not clear whether his family members have been notified. Premium Times reports that before the officer killed himself, he threatened to shoot a storekeeper at the medical centre, who fled the scene for safety. It was after the scare that the captain killed himself. He was rushed in for treatment, but passed on shortly thereafter. He was reported to have collected his gun from the armoury on June 18 and said he was going back to Mafa to join his team the next day.

The nature of his ailments prior to the killing himself has not been ascertained. He stated this at a military-media awareness programme organised by CLEEN Foundation, a non-governmental organization, at Jabi motor park, Abuja.

By Mercy Kukah

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

I'm Alive - I Didn't Jump into Lagoon, Says Owner of Ford Car By Lagoon

The owner of a Ford Explorer SUV with registration number Lagos APP190CE, seen on a viral video allegedly belonging to a woman who jumped into the Lagos lagoon has denied the video clip.

In a telephone conversation with Daily Trust in Lagos, the woman said that her husband,
who drove the car on the said day (Sunday) didn't jump into the lagoon, stressing that he parked the Ford car by the Bridge to offer help.
The woman said she and her husband are living well and happily and have no cause to consider suicide. She said her husband has reported what transpired at the Bridge to the appropriate government authorities.

However, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), on Tuesday,
dismissed the trending video clip of a woman who allegedly parked her SUV Ford Explorer and jumped into the lagoon at the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.

The agency also confirmed that the owner of the Jeep was just a good Samaritan who only stopped by to offer assistance. LASEMA also dismissed all speculations over the incident, saying investigation still continues by relevant agencies of government.

LASEMA General Manager, Adesina Tiamiyu, in a statement today said, “The attention of
the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has been drawn to a video
clip on social media in respect of a woman who supposedly packed an SUV FordExplorer and jumped into the Lagoon at the 3rd Mainland Bridge on Sunday, 10th July, 2018.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Agency officials are in touch with the owner of the SUV whose registration is being circulated, who only stopped by to offer assistance.” The agency strongly advised that the incident is a developing issue which is presently being investigated, as search and rescue is still ongoing on the waterways to ascertain the veracity of the incident.
The agency however advised Lagosians to discard the information being circulated, as the Agency and its stakeholders are making frantic efforts to get to the root of the matter, noting that “anybody with any reliable information on any missing person should
call the emergency toll free line, 112/767 or contact the nearest police station”.

By Mercy Kukah


On Tuesday, June 12, Justice Adebukola Banjoko delivered the final judgment on the 
protracted case. Here is a detail of how the case that led to the conviction of the former governor unfolded:

Dariye’s Defence
Starting with the issues raised by Dariye’s counsel, Justice Banjoko said Dariye’s
lawyers, led by former Attorney General of the Federation, Kanu Agabi, contended that the charge against the defendant was defective for a number of reasons. According to Agabi, the fact that the charge sheet against his client did not indicate that the diverted funds were taken “dishonestly” meant that a case of fraudulent intention could not be proven against Dariye. Agabi also submitted that the prosecution had a duty to present all the participants in the said diversion in court as witnesses. He further argued that failure of the prosecution to present all the participants rendered their evidence defective. Agabi also submitted that the prosecution ought to have been bound by the findings of the Plateau State Assembly committee which found no case against the defendant.
Similarly, Agabi said that the case against his client should have been viewed with the principle of estoppel, which requires that once a ruling is delivered regarding a given issue, no other court should commence trial on a case of similar composition with the one already decided upon by the sister court. Agabi cited a previous ruling where six bankers were tried for their alleged involvement in the said transfer while Dariye served as governor. He contended that since the Federal High Court in Kaduna acquitted the bankers for lack of evidence, the trial of Dariye on the same diversion amounts to an abuse of court process. According to Agabi, the fate that befell the bankers should also be advanced on his client. Agabi further argued that the pieces of evidence adduced by the same prosecution in both trials were incoherent.

EFCC’s Argument
On their part, the prosecution, led by Rotimi Jacobs asked the court to determine whether having recourse to the evidence adduced in court, the prosecution was yet to prove its case against the defendant. Jacobs responded to Agabi’s submissions regarding the bankers citing English Criminal laws to prove that the principle of estoppel did not apply to criminal cases. He also argued that the shreds of evidence presented in Dariye’s case were conclusive for the case in which they were brought and in compliance with section 173 of the evidence Act.

Judge’s Response
Justice Banjoko said the issues raised by the defence included fundamental matters that needed to be analysed. She cited parts of the judgment from the previous ruling mentioned by Agabi. The judge said the ruling of the federal court acquitting the bankers was premised on the fact that the prosecution did not include the principal actor in the case of misappropriation. Reading through the previous judgment, Banjoko said the failure of the EFCC to include Dariye in the charge meant that “no iota of evidence was adduced in court to show that the cheques (acted upon by the bankers) were fraudulently procured. I am unable to see how the disbursement has shown any dishonest misappropriation. Did Mr. Dariye misappropriate it for himself? If so, no evidence was shown,” Banjoko stated while reading through the previous judgment by the federal high court judge, Liman J. “It is clear from the above that the facts and  evidence of misappropriation were not brought to the fore,” Banjoko said. She added
that the decision of the federal court to discharge the bankers was accurate except that it was due to the absence of Dariye in that trial. Premium Times reports that Dariye was not included in the 2005 trial of the bankers and their bank because he was in office as governor of Plateau state and then enjoyed
immunity from prosecution. Although the bankers were acquitted, the bank was found guilty as charged. Reacting to Agabi’s argument that the prosecution ought to have presented same witnesses as those adduced during the trial of the bankers, Justice Banjoko said it is not inconceivable to deduce that the class of evidence to prove a case of misappropriation was not the same as the class of evidence to prove the offence of aiding the said diversion.
On the controversial acquitting of Dariye by the Plateau State House of Assembly committee, Banjoko said that the committee had recognised its inability to proceed with
investigations into the offence against Dariye following the filing of the matter in court.
She said the committee noted that the matter had become subjudice and was about
suspending its investigation before it dramatically announced a decision, discharging Dariye from allegations against him. “That conclusion was gotten from the air,” Banjoko said.
Regarding the allegations that the statements made by the defendant were given in duress, the judge said the defendant’s counsel should have raised the objection ahead of his final address to the court. “Learned silk ought to have advanced his objection during the trial,” Banjoko said.

The Main Offence
Going into the substantive matter, Banjoko narrated the developments that followed an
earlier investigation by Peter Clark, a detective constable with the Metropolitan police of the United Kingdom. She said Clark’s investigation led to the discovery of £816,000 pounds traced to Dariye abroad. After diligent investigation, Dariye was invited for questioning, then granted bail in December 2004 with an undertaking to return to the UK for further questions.Despite promising the security agency that he would return, it was gathered that Dariye never went back to respond to the interrogations of the metro police. He is still being sought by the UK authorities. Shortly after Dariye left office in 2007, his trial in Nigeria began in earnest and prevented the defendant’s extradition to the UK. In Nigeria, Dariye was accused of distributing the Plateau State ecological funds to various groups, including the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The diverted funds were transferred to a secret account with the name Ebenezer Rethnam, domiciled with a defunct bank. Although the said account was
reportedly opened secretly and managed with a waiver that prevented its owner from
submitting an identification photograph, Justice Banjoko said the evidence in court
indicates clearly that Ebenezer Rethnam and Dariye were the same. She mentioned some of the diverted funds channeled through the bank from the Plateau state account at the CBN. Banjoko noted the submissions of a defence witness who confirmed part of the money was diverted to the PDP. She condemned the submissions of the defence witness who told the court that he viewed no wrong in Dariye’s disbursement of public funds to the PDP, since “his party was the one in power.” “From his statement, it shows that he has no knowledge of party funds of even his own party. Funds of Plateau state government and that of the PDP are exclusive. They never mix. His submission is quite disturbing and shocking and is an embarrassment to the party,” Banjoko said. After listing an array of such dubious disbursement of funds, Banjoko said Dariye should have even attempted to explain his actions by entering the witness box. “It is expected that he should have entered the witness box and explained why the disbursements were made. He said nothing.”

The Historic Sentence/Verdict
“In the absence of concrete evidence justifying these payments, it can safely be described as misappropriation,” Banjoko ruled. Justice Banjoko found Dariye guilty of 15 out of the 23-count charge brought against him. Thus, Dariye was convicted for two main categories of offences, namely criminal breach of trust which attracts a two-year sentence for each affected count and criminal misappropriation, which has a penalty of 14 years. The sentences are to run concurrently, which means he will spend a maximum of 14 years in jail.

Drama As Dariye Interrupts His Lawyer, Begs For Mercy
Shortly before the verdict was read, Dariye’s lawyer, Paul Erokoro, described his client’s
actions as the product of ignorance. Erokoro blamed the military system and the bank for the actions of his client. According toErokoro, Dariye who is a chartered accountant, was misguided when he approached the bank for financial assistance. Responding, Jacobs, EFCC’s lawyer, drew the attention of the court to the many years of legal battle embarked upon by the defendant. As he was speaking, Dariye, in a dramatic move, suddenly stood up and asked the prosecution lawyer to be merciful. “Be merciful. You are a Christian, your name is Jacob,” he said. The judge noted the efforts of Erokoro but added that “there should not compromise in corruption. Corruption is corruption.”
After the judgment, Dariye was led into a police van from where he was transported to
Kuje prison which would be his home for 14 years unless the ruling is upturned by the
appeal court.

By Mercy Kukah


Hey crushers! Today, we are crushing on a young, Kaduna State born daughter of a politician father in person of  Munira Suleiman Tanimu.

Munira hails from Kaduna State in the northern region of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
She is the second of her father’s sixteen children but the first daughter. She attended Essence International School, Kaduna, where she had her Nursery/Primary and Secondary education up to class five (SS2) before she moved to Abubakar Gumi College Kaduna.

Munira got a diploma in Educational Management from Bayero University Kano; she then proceeded to the University of Abuja to study Sociology as her first degree. From there, she went on to bag a certificate in Leadership Communication from the coveted Harvard University and another certificate in Business Management from the highly rated Lagos Business School in Lagos State.

Munira is an entrepreneur, a politician and philanthropic Muslim woman who has braced the odds against the limitations of cultural and Islamic tenants to break-even in her business and political career. She is the CEO of The Glam professional LTD, The Green Gardens farms, which is a poultry farm in Kano which currently houses well over five thousand chickens and the MSTS Venture, which is a town service transport business that has several inter-state buses and cabs operating in Abuja, the Federal Capital Terriory of Nigeria, as well as a very big event centre that brings in good returns.

Munira’s love and passion for the less privileged can be traced to her father. According to Munira, she grew up seeing her father carrying out charitable acts and she developed the passion to extend a helping hand to the needy. She therefore runs a registered Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) known as Green Heart Impact Foundation where she empowers scores of girls across the country.

Green Heart Foundation focuses on rehabilitating girls that have dropped out from school to hawk on the streets due to lack of money and encourages them to go back to school on its bills.

Munira has a political background and that makes her a politician by nature. She went into politics fully in 2015, when she ran for a seat in the Kaduna State House of Assembly to represent the people of her constituency but lost at the primaries level. Munira was the only woman among four aspirants that ran for the seat and she came second at the primaries poll.

Munira’s passion and obsession to achieve new heights has led her to become one of the most successful business woman in the North and an inspiration to many.


Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Nigeria Ranked 3rd In Open Defecation Globally

Nigeria has been ranked among top three countries in the world with the largest number of people practising open defecation.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) specialist, Mainga Moono Banda disclosed this yesterday, in a presentation at the opening of a two-day media dialogue organised by UNICEF and EU in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Information in Awka, Anambra State.

Mainga said that from the 2017 MICS survey, over 46 million people still practice Open Defection (ODF) in Nigeria as 33 million of this figure live in the rural areas.

“130 million across the country use unapproved sanitary facilities, more than half live in the rural area, while 45,000 children die annually from diseases caused by poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene,” she said.

She said WASH plays a critical role in improving health, nutrition and hygiene in Nigeria, saying that for Nigeria to meet SDG goal 6 on water and sanitation by 2030, provision of safe and adequate hygiene that would curb issues of water borNe and sanitation related diseases must be tackled.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the workshop, stressed the importance of WASH in the life of a child.

Culled From Daily Trust.
By Mercy Kukah

Friend Of Lady Who Allegedly Jumped From 3rd Mainland Bridge Finally Speaks

On Sunday, June 10, it was reported that a US-based Nigerian lady allegedly committed
suicide by jumping into the Lagos lagoon from the Third Mainland Bridge. It was
gathered that Toyin made her jump from the Unilag end of the lagoon.

However, more shocking details have emerged as an unidentified source shed more
light on the real reason she chose to take her life. The woman was allegedly swindled
by an older lover in Nigeria. The man fraudulently collected the sum of N10 million from her and when she found out, she got him arrested. In the process, the man  shared unclad pictures of him and the woman on the internet to prove his innocence.
The source disclosed that: “She was US based, married with three kids. She lived in Texas. Her husband, Tunde, works or used to work with Access Bank in Lagos. She got involved with another guy in Nigeria and they both got involved in series of adulterous activities. Her lover, an older guy as well collected over N10m from her. She went to arrest him only for him to publish nude pictures of them together in order to prove his innocence to the police that whatever happened between both of them was consensual, that he’s not a fraudster as claimed by the married woman.
The blackmail got to her husband and this compelled the husband to conduct DNA
tests on all his three children which later turned out that they are not all his kids after
all. Those kids belong to someone else.
"On Saturday, 9th of June, 2018, the woman drove to the bridge, parked her Ford SUV van on the 3rd Mainland Bridge and jumped inside the lagoon on a mission which is a resultant effect of the blackmail.”
May her soul rest in peace.

By Mercy Kukah

Monday, 11 June 2018

80 Nigerians Commit Suicide In 13 Months

There is a surging trend of Nigerians committing suicide, with about 80 reported in the last 13 months, according to incidents collated by Daily Trust newspaper.

The report said that 89 people had committed suicide between April 8, 2017 and May 12 this year according to the paper which analysed content of Nigerian newspapers.

Majority of the reasons given for the reported suicides range from financial difficulty, marital problems, academic challenges, among others. Lagos State leads the pack with 14 reported cases within the period under review.

Close to 800 000 people die globally due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

According to WHO Suicide Ranking, there are 15.1 suicides per 100,000 population in a year, with Nigeria now the 30th most suicide-prone out of 183 nations in the world.

Nigeria is also ranked the 10th African country with higher rates of suicide, leading countries like Togo (ranked 26th), Sierra Leone (11th), Angola (19th), Equatorial Guinea (7th), Burkina Faso (22nd) and Cote d’Ivoire (5th).

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) said suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds globally.

Suicide is a global phenomenon; in fact, 78 percent of suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2015. Suicide accounted for 1.4 percent of all deaths worldwide, making it the 17th leading cause of death in 2015.

There are indications that for each adult who died of suicide, there may have been more than 20 others who have attempted suicide.

Causes And Signs Of Suicide – Experts

Medical experts have identified some of the signs that someone may be thinking or planning to commit suicide to include:
*Change in behaviour or the presence of entirely new behaviours; when a person is always talking or thinking about death or killing him/herself, when a person loses interest in things he or she used to care about before and making comments about being worthless, helpless or hopeless, such are prone victims;
*Taking risks that could lead to death, sudden mood swings or switching from being very sad to being happy, visiting or calling people to say goodbye, looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means;
*Acting recklessly and withdrawing from activities;
*Threaten to kill themselves or say things such as “no one will miss me when I'm gone’’, give away their valued possessions or write a will.
*Personality defects, and some diseases that make potential victims feel incomplete;
*Mental illnesses like depression, drugs abuse, and adjustment disorders;
*Unemployment/economic hardships;
*Peer influence/Parental harshness;
*Reactions to failure and disappointments (feeling helpless and hopeless)
*Domestic violence;
*Alcohol dependence among others.
Experts say people around anyone exhibiting these signs or who have attempted suicide before should be encouraged to seek help from experts and appropriate authorities.

Dr. Maymunah Yusuf Kadiri, a consultant neuropsychiatries and psychotherapist said that against the general belief that suicide results from mental illness, not all people who commit suicide are mentally ill. Dr. Kadiri, who is also the Medical Director of Pinnacle Medical Services, Lagos, said that suicide prevention needs proper coordination and collaboration to ensure effective outcomes.

According to her, suicide is not the best way of dealing with personal loss or the way to manage any situation. “Suicide has to stop and this involves joint campaign by everyone.There is need to develop resilience (the ability to cope with adverse life events and adjust to them), a sense of personal self-worth and self-confidence, effective coping and problem-solving skills, and adaptive help-seeking behaviour because they are often considered to be protective factors against the development of suicidal behaviours,” she advised.

What Religious Leaders Say

The Founder of the Al-Mustofiyyah Society of Nigeria, Ustaz Maisuna M. Yahya, said while it is haram (forbidden) to commit suicide, some of the reasons for the rising cases of suicide in the last one year include economic hardship with some who graduated having no job and those who learnt apprenticeship have no money to buy equipment, as well as the low-income salary earner who struggles to meet up with obligations or the sacked or retired.

“Suicide is a great punishable sin in the sight of Allah. And whoever hopes in God will be repatriated by Him. So it is important to have strong faith in Allah as the Sole Provider (Sustainer)", he said.

On his part, the Chief Imam of the Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society, Sheik Fuad Adeyemi, said non-reliance on Allah and over ambition among others also contribute to the high cases of suicide in the country.

Also, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Dr. Samson Ayokunle told Daily Trust that the economic situation in the country is largely responsible for the high spare of suicides.

“From all indications, the political class has failed us. They over-promised but under-deliver and instead of joining hands in solving social and economic problems, they are indulging in blame game. The jobless, the hungry, the homeless, the hopeless, the rejected, the poor, the sick who has no one to take care of him or her at all, do not care which party is ruling or the opposition.
“All they want is a solution to their problems. If the religion is preaching better life in the Hereafter, the government is not put in place to send them to the early grave but to help them to justify their existence. Our government at all levels should wake up from their unholy slumber before the situation snowballs into a revolution because a hungry man is an angry man.

“Nigeria has what it takes to make life comfortable for all and sundry. The political class should stop cornering our commonwealth,” Ayokunle, who spoke through his spokesman, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji said.

WHO has however advised the media to exercise caution when reporting on suicide to protect the sensitivity of the public and prevent others from being affected by the stories.

By Mercy Kukah

Legendary Nigerian Musician Ras Kimono is Dead

According to reports, Ras Kimono passed away in the early hours of Sunday, June 10 in Lagos. 
Ras Kimono was reportedly supposed to travel to the United States on Saturday, June 9 before he complained of feeling ill. He was rushed to a hospital in Ikeja, where he was later referred to Lagoon Hospital on the Island where he died.
The news of his death was announced by the commissioner for tourism, arts and culture in Lagos state, Steve Ayorinde on social media.
Mourning the reggae artiste, President of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Mr Pretty Okafor, described his death as a big loss to the music industry.
According to Channels TV, a family source revealed that the reggae musician was rushed to a hospital in Ikoyi after he slumped on Saturday, June 9.
Ras Kimono, who was born in Delta state, is a Nigerian reggae artist whose debut album 'Under Pressure', led by the single, 'Rum-Bar Stylée', was a big hit in the Nigerian music scene in 1989.
He started out his career, firstly as a student of Gbenoba secondary school, Agbor, and later as a member of the legendary Jastix Reggae Ital, alongside Majek Fashek, Amos McRoy Jegg and Black Rice Osagie.
His music was greatly influenced by the poverty, inequality and hardship he witnessed in his early life.
Music veterans, Tony Okoroji and Sir Shina Peters have confirmed the incident.
May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace…

By Mercy Kukah