Former Customs Spokesman Buries Father

Former Nigeria Customs Service, Tincan Island Port Command Public Relations Officer Chief Uche Ejesieme (0zor Ishinmili Agulu) and family members buried their father, Chief Alexander Okoye Ejesieme at in Ifiteani Village, Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State.

A respected businessman and a figure of inspiration in the community, Chief Alexander Ejesieme’s contributions will be cherished, and his legacy remembered.

The entire town was enveloped with fanfare as prominent Nigerians came to honour the departed and celebrate his impactful life.

The funeral service begun at St. John De Evangelist Catholic Church Agulu by the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, as soon as his remains and the funeral Cortese which included an horse-drawn carriage arrived the church.

In his sermon The Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, extolled the virtues of Pa Alexander Ejesieme who reportedly lived a life of dedication and service to God.

According to him,Chief Ejesieme was a man with intimidating kind heart, whose greatness is not in the riches and wealth he has acquired, but in his unrelenting act of generosity.

The burial attracted the presence of
His Eminence, Peter Cardinal Ebele Okpaleke, The Catholic Bishop Of Nnewi Diocese Rt. Rev. Dr. Jonas Benson Okoye, Papal Nuncio To Czech Republic Archbishop Thaddeus Okolo, The Catholic Bishop Of Awka Diocese Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, The Catholic Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese, Most Rev. Fr. Professor Obiefuna, Anglican Bishops and Reverends from other Denominations, former Governor Anambra State, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi, The Governor Anambra State Chukwuma Soludo represented by His Deputy Dr. Onyeka Ibezim, High Court Judges, Comptroller Anambra/Enugu/Ebonyi Command Comfort Senas Ukpanah, Very Senior Officers Of Nigeria Customs Service, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Nigeria Bar Association Anambra Branch, Onyechi Ikpeazu Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Distinguished Senator Victor Umeh and other Members of the National Assembly,

Pa Ejesieme, who died at age 93 was born in 1927 to late Chief & Mrs. Ejesieme Obikwelu of Ifiteani village Agulu in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra state.

He attended standard school in Agulu during his formative years before on an apprenticeship to late Mr. Okeke Mgbafor of Ifiteani village Agulu, as a metal fabricator here in Agulu where he demonstrated exceptional skills endearing him to the heart of his master.

As the only son of his parents, he sought an opportunity to try his hands in other business ventures, leading to his relocation to Onitsha, where he started learning the trade of kitchen utensils at the popular Onitsha Main Market. Here again, he quickly learnt the trade to the admiration of his contemporaries; shortly after, he started his own business.

He got married to Chief Mrs. Elizabeth Uzoamaka Ejesieme JP (ADADIORANMA) 1963 from Umubiala Village Agulu and the marriage was blessed with 9 children from the same mother among whom is Chief Alexander Ejesieme Jnr, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria

The highpoint of the event was the thanksgiving procession by Chief Uche Ejesieme and his immediate family members, amid soulful renditions from the St. John De Evangelist Catholic Church choir.

The former NCS Tin-Can Island Port Command PRO,described his late father as his best friend and “a man who loathed dishonesty”.

He added: “A very open-minded and passionately detribalised Nigerian, he encouraged and supported his children to see every Nigerian as one.

“He was a natural activist, speaking up against injustice and man’s inhumanity to man, an attribute he bestowed on his children” Chief Uche Ejesieme said.

ASUU: Tinubu Orders Payment of Four Months Withheld Salary,Stops No Work, No Pay Order

Mohammed Shosanya

President Bola Tinubu,Friday,directed relevant government agencies involved in the implementation the “no work, no pay” policy against the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to waive that policy in the interest of the affected union.

He also directed that the four months salary of the academic staff be paid to the affected workers.

The presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale,who conveyed this in a statement on Friday, explained that the decision was in exercise of Prerogative of Mercy which the President exercises.

The “No Work, No Pay” Order was instituted against striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) following the commencement of their eight-month industrial action which began on February 14, 2022 and was terminated on October 17, 2022.

He said:”in view of his determination to mitigate the difficulties being felt during the implementation of key economic reforms in the country, as well as his recognition of the faithful implementation of terms which were agreed upon during the fruitful deliberations between ASUU and the Federal Government of Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu has directed the grant of an exceptional last waiver of the “No Work, No Pay” Order on ASUU, which will allow for the previously striking members of ASUU to receive four (4) months of salary accruals out of the eight months of salary which was withheld during the eight-month industrial action undertaken by the union.

“The President has directed the grant of the waiver with a mandatory requirement that the Federal Ministry of Education and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment must secure a Document of Understanding (DoU) establishing that this exceptional waiver granted by the President will be the last one to be granted to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and all other education sector Unions,” Tinubu stated.

Coroner Commences Inquest Into Death Of 12-Year-Old With Missing Intestines

Mohammed Shosanya

Proceedings commenced on Friday into the circumstances surrounding the death of Master Adebola Akin-Bright, the boy with the missing intestine who died at LASUTH.

The Coroner Court is presided over by His Honour Mrs Bola Folarin-Williams, District Coroner, sitting at Magistrate Court 4, Botanical Gardens, Ebute-Metta.

Mrs Abiodun Kolawole, for African Women Lawyers Association.
At today’s proceedings, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa led Mr Aramide Adeogun and Mr Ezekiel Nnadi, for the father of the deceased, Mr Olumuyiwa Akin-Bright, being the complainant.

Mrs Abiodun Kolawole,represented the African Women Lawyers Association while Mr O.A. Akinde, state counsel from the Ministry of Justice represented the Lagos State Government, as an interested party.

When the matter came up on Friday,Mr Akinde told the court that necessary tests and examinations have been conducted on the corpse whereby there is a post-mortem report.

The office of the Attorney General is aware of letters from solicitors to the father of the deceased seeking to preserve the corpse while the mother seeks the release of the corpse to her for burial.

Mr Adegboruwa informed the Coroner that the complainant would love to call the medical director of Hobitox Medical Centre where the deceased was first admitted and treated, the doctors that treated the deceased in LASUTH and all policemen involved in the investigation, in order to have a proper understanding of what actually happened to the deceased.

The Coroner informed that she got information that the autopsy report is ready and will soon get to the court, whereupon Mr Adegboruwa applied that it be made available to all the parties in the case.

The coroner stated also that it may be necessary for the father and the mother of the deceased to file their respective applications on what to do with the corpse so that the court can rule on it.

Mr Adegboruwa however stated that since the decreased died in LASUTH, it may be better to have an independent examination of the corpse by experts such as the Nigerian Medical Association, to avoid likelihood of bias and conflict of interests.

Mr Adegboruwa further informed the Coroner that he became aware just this morning before the Court sat that Mr Femi Falana, SAN, is the lead counsel to the mother of the deceased. He would prefer to liaise with Mr Falana, SAN, so that both father and mother can harmonize their viewpoints. But in the interim, it is good to preserve the corpse since the Coroner has already assumed jurisdiction over the matter.

Mr Akinde informed the Coroner that the state is ready to co-operate with and assist the parties by making available all witnesses and documents, including all doctors and medical personnel that attended to the deceased at LASUTH.

After listening to all the parties, the Coroner stated that today’s inaugural sitting is for preliminary proceedings to set the course for the inquest.

She asked the parties to meet to harmonize their views and submit the list of the names of witnesses to be called before the next date. She directed that the autopsy report and all necessary documents be made available to counsel to the parties.

My Pastor Threatens To Kill Me, Chef Dammy Cries Out

Mohammed Shosanya

Ekiti-based Nigerian chef, Damilola Adeparusi, popularly known as Chef Dammy, has cried out t that her pastor, Prophet Adegoke Jeremiah,was threatening her life.

Chef Dammy,who conveyed this in her Instagram post, disclosed that her life is in danger, on account of threats, curses, and bullying allegedly from his pastor

She has been living in constant fear and nearly died a few days ago,but she said that she will be in Lagos for an interview soon to further reveal more details about the development.

She said: ” ‘By the time we are done with you,you will not be able to stand on your feet again’, this was from the acclaimed “people of God”. Among many of the countless insults, curses, threats and bullying.

“Now, I understand the content of 1 Peter 4:17, Surely judgment will begin from the house of God. The first time the man of God tried to challenge my God he failed, then he told me to prepare for war. But these are the people of God, are they not supposed to be Godly?

“Assuming I had died a few days ago; people would’ve understood better what I’ve been facing, by the testimony of those around me. But I’ll still try and bind my piece because it is a testimony that others can learn from.

“I know about gods that is why I chose the undefeatable God. Surely they shall gather, but they that be with me are more than they that be with them. I’ve been in constant fear for my life.

“Countless times they’ve tried to destroy me as promised,but with God I keep moving as if nothing ever happened.Shouldn’t we have gotten over this?

“I mean it’s 4 months already,guess you will not stop until I stop breathing? I’ll try to update this piece, while I try to hold onto my peace”

She wrote in another post that: “I’ll be having an interview in Lagos soon. And I’m ready to let everything out once I get back.

“But in case anything happens to me; Adegoke Jeremiah A.K.A Billion Dollars Prophet, hold him responsible, he told me to prepare for war and we are both on it.”

AFC,Solid Minerals Development Fund of Nigeria, Xcalibur Partner To Strengthen Nigeria’s Geological Data

Mohammed Shosanya
Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), the Solid Minerals Development Fund of Nigeria (SMDF), a Nigerian mining-focused development fund, and Xcalibur Multiphysics (Xcalibur), a global leader in airborne geophysics, have partnered to enhance the landscape of geo-scientific data and geological mapping for early-stage mining projects in Nigeria.

The three institutions signed a Cooperation Agreement recentlyon the sidelines of the ongoing Nigerian Mining Week in Abuja.

The partnership will pursue initiatives that enhance the availability of Nigeria’s geological data to interested investors across the globe and design an exploration program for mapping the country’s subterranean mineral wealth,a statement said.

Besides AFC, SMDF and Xcalibur will aim to establish a comprehensive database that effectively showcases Nigeria’s resource potential, thus encouraging long-term investment from banks, mining firms, financial institutions, and individuals.

AFC and Xcalibur,had earlier this year signed a joint venture agreement to partner on mapping, developing and co-financing natural resource projects in Africa, and this initiative in Nigeria is an offshoot of the program.

According to the statement,with this tripartite agreement, AFC and SMDF will jointly explore suitable financing solutions, engage with regulators, support relevant government agencies, and facilitate government discussions while Xcalibur contributes technical support, oversees data quality, and conducts economic evaluation studies, including potential biodiversity and environmental mapping.

Speaking on the agreement, Samaila Zubairu, President & CEO of AFC, said, “Nigeria’s abundant natural resources provide a promising foundation for growth and development. However, there is currently a limited understanding of the vast underground mineral wealth within the country. In order to address this, our collaboration with SMDF and Xcalibur seeks to significantly improve the availability of high-quality geomapping data. This ambitious initiative will not only attract valuable mining investments but also pave the way for the development of critical mineral resources in Nigeria with intentional focus on value capture and retention in line with the minerals value chain policy in the country. Ultimately, our goal is to establish Nigeria as a pivotal player in the global energy transition.”

Fatima Umaru Shinkafi, Executive Secretary and CEO of Solid Minerals Development Fund, said, “Over 90% of Nigeria remains underexplored, with significant potential to discover and increase existing deposits. Increased exploration activity is crucial to realising the benefits of the country’s geological endowment and supporting a pipeline of new projects to market. Given that Nigeria accounts for less than 0.5% of the global exploration budget, our partnership with AFC and Xcalibur will act as a stimulus for resource exploration activity, derisk resource exploration in Nigeria, and increase the global appeal of Nigeria as a resource exploration destination.”

“We are thrilled to join forces with the AFC and the SMDF in this groundbreaking project to enhance geophysical data in Nigeria,” said Dario Castellanos, VP Financing and Middle East Director of Xcalibur Multiphysics. ”Our collaboration will bolster the availability of high-quality geophysical data that will attract mining investments and contribute to the development of critical mineral resources in the country. We believe that this initiative will be instrumental in establishing Nigeria as a pivotal player in the global energy transition, and we are fully committed to the success of this exciting project.”

Nuclear Power Will Address Energy Poverty In Africa -Enobot

Mohammed Shosanya

The significant advantages of nuclear energy in addressing Africa’s energy needs and eradicating energy poverty was discussed recently during a panel discussion at African Energy Week, in Cape Town.

Enobot Agboraw, Executive Secretary of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy noted factors including longevity, cost-effectiveness and the environmental resilience of nuclear power as reasons more African states needed to consider investing in this energy source, underscoring its importance in ensuring a stable energy supply for the rapidly growing African population.

He said:”Africa realizes that the issue of energy poverty is an emergency. With our population expected to double to 3 billion by 2050, we need to introduce energy solutions fast. Nuclear power, with its long lifespan and reliability, stands out as a key pillar in Africa’s energy transition efforts”

He added that although most countries in Africa would not be able to finance such projects on their own, he believed that through combined efforts, such as multilateral approaches, countries looking to invest in nuclear energy would be pooling their resources, reducing financial and proliferation risks.

Sayed Salah Eldin Motyaser Aly, NNP Egypt chief of sector, shared updates on Egypt’s nuclear initiatives, as the northern African country is currently constructing its first nuclear energy plant in El Dabaa.

“This nuclear project represents the start of our future industrialization. It has created the opportunity for highly skilled jobs and the development of local industries and Egypt has invested in many initiatives such as the dedicated El Dabaa vocational school, as well as a training program implemented with our strategic partner to ensure we have the skills needed to take this project forward.”

Speaking during the panel discussion, Keith Featherstone, Chief Nuclear Officer at Eskom, highlighted South Africa’s potential for extending the lifespan of existing nuclear plants, adding that it was currently the only country on the continent which had nuclear energy generation capacity.

He emphasized the opportunities presented by small modular reactors (SMRs), which had been placed on hold, and the potential use of nuclear energy to repurpose fossil fuel sites, contributing to cleaner energy production. “I personally am hopeful that the future requests for proposals will allocate more capacity to nuclear as it definitely is one of the most reliable baseload energy options we’ve got, especially in the South African energy sector.”

Emphasizing the need for sustainable energy solutions, Vassily Savin, Head of Power and Utilities at KEPT, noted although African states could rely on its natural resources of sun, wind and water to provide alternative power sources, a recent analysis focused on South Africa and East Africa showed that it would not be enough to allow for industrialization.

“Our modeling shows that achieving this only on renewables is not achievable at all. Africa needs a sustainable grid and sustainable sources of energy. Nuclear energy is a reliable, low-carbon source that could replace retiring fossil fuel plants and allow for the integration of renewables.

“The main bottleneck here is financing. Fossil fuels are not favored by multilateral banks, and surprisingly, neither is nuclear. But if multilateral banks would finance nuclear, it would dramatically help eliminate energy poverty in Africa,” he added

Oyo: Civil Servant Jailed For Fraud

Mohammed Shosanya

The Chief Magistrate Court 1, Iwo Road Ibadan, presided over by Magistrate Taiwo Oladiran has on Friday, convicted one Adeleke Ronke Mary of the Oyo State Ministry of Lands, to a year imprisonment for official corruption.

The Oyo State Anti-Corruption Agency (OYACA) got the conviction of Adeleke after it had investigated a case submitted against her by a victim from whom she dubiously collected the sum of six hundred thousand naira

The court also ordered that the convict to refund the said money to the victim within a month.

In a press statement signed by the Chairman, OYACA, Honorable Justice Eni Esan and obtained by Premium News,Adeleke was investigated by the agency and found culpable before her case file was handed over the State’s Ministry of Justice for prosecution.

“The Chief Magistrate Court 1, Iwo Road, Ibadan, Presided over by Magistrate Taiwo Oladiran (CM1) convicted today, Adeleke Ronke Mary, a civil servant of the Ministry of Lands for official corruption under the Section 22 of the OYACA Law and the court sentenced her to a year term of imprisonment.

“Also, the court ordered the convict to refund the sum of N600,000 (Six Hundred Thousand Naira) collected from the victim within one month.

“Adeleke Ronke Mary has since been handed over to the officers of the Nigerian Correctional Services,” the statement added.

Depositors Of Distressed Microfinance Banks Get N1.2bn Refund

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) says it has so far made refunds of N1. 2 billion deposits to some of the 189 Microfinance Banks (MFBs) and the four Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs) liquidated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Managing Director/ Chief Executive of NDIC, Hassan Bello,disclosed this on a sideline interview at the 2023 sensitisation seminar organised by NDIC for Federal High Court Judges in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

He said that though the Act setting up the corporation provides that payment should be made within 30 days, it has been able to effect payment to insured depositors within seven days.

He said:”So far, we have about N1. 2 billion insured deposits to the depositors in the Microfinance Banks and Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMI).

“We are still paying but why we have not completed payment is that there are some customers that we do not have records of their BVN to identify their alternate bank accounts in other banks.”

The corporation, according to Hassan has also realized N1. 6 billion to pay creditors and depositors of the 20 commercial banks liquidated, even as plans have been concluded to pay them as quickly as possible.

Imploring depositors to come forward with information that would help in the payment of the insured depositors, he expressed satisfaction that corporation was able to achieve speedy payment within seven days .

While addressing the trainees earlier, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive of NDIC, Hassan Bello noted that the judiciary plays a critical role in resolving disputes that evolve from the revocation of banking license all through liquidation and termination of liquidation activities..

He said:”Currently the maximum claim for depositors of Deposit Money Banks, (DMBs) Primary Mortgage Banks(PMBs) Payment Service Banks(PSBs) and subscribers of Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) is N500,000 per depositor, per deposit taking institution, while Micro-Finance Banks(MFB) have a maximum coverage limit of N200, 000 per depositor, per MFB”.