EFCC recovers N156bn, secures 3,175 convictions in a year

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The executive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ola Olukoyede, has secured 3,175 convictions and recovered N156, 276,691,242.30 between May 29, 2023 when President Bola Tinubu assumed office and May 29, 2024.

He made this known in Abuja on Wednesday at the launch of Zero Tolerance Club at the University Abuja (UniAbuja), Gwagwalada campus, Abuja.

EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, in a statement on Wednesday night, said Olukoyede, who spoke through the secretary to the commission, Mohammed Hammajoda, said the EFCC also recovered $43,835,214.24, £25,365.00, €186,947.10, ₹51,360.00, C$3,750.00, A$740.00, ¥74,754.00, R35,000.00, 42,390.00 UAE Dirhams, 247.00 Riyals and 21,580, 867631 Crypto Currency.

Speaking further, the chairman stated that, though the EFCC put up impressive performance within the year, involvement of youths in internet fraud continued to pose serious concerns to every stakeholder in the anti-graft war.

“In spite of this commendable performance, the commission is deeply worried about the increasing involvement of young people, including students, in cybercrime, popularly called yahoo yahoo. Hundreds of suspects are arrested monthly, with many of them ending up in jail,” he said.

He called on students of the university to stay away from internet fraud, stressing that conviction for fraud “is a burden that will leave a life-long scar on the fortunes of these youths.”

He further stated that there was no justification for cybercrime anywhere.

“There is no justification that will make yahoo yahoo acceptable. Contrary to the impression in some quarters, being a fraudster is not synonymous with creativity or being smart. As students, you are expected to channel your creative energies into useful engagements and not get entangled in cheating others of their resources,” he stated.

Nigerians living in Nigeria and diaspora can now earn US Dollars legitimately, you can earn as much as $17,000(25millon naira)

Association of Cooperate Online Editors extend Excos tenure, make some appointments 

By Favour Nnabugwu 
Association of Cooperate Online Editors (ACOE) at its maiden post incorporation Congress has approved the extension of the tenure of its acting executives for another fifteen months with effect from May 16, 2024 with a mandate to midwife the election of a substantive executive within the window.
The Congress which held in Abuja yesterday May 16, 2024 also approved the appointment of both ‘Seun Ibukun-Oni (Daily Courier News) and Alabidun Abdulrahman (Intercontinental News 247), as Publicity Secretary and Assistant Secretary respectively, expanding the executive members of the Association. While Ibeneme Ebelechukwu (Chronicles Online ) was appointed to replace the Treasurer. In addition, the Congress constituted two ad-hoc committees to lay an enduring foundation for the Association.
Hence, the updated roll call of ACOE acting executives include: Chairman, Martins Odiete; Vice-Chairman, Ignatius Ushie; Secretary, Shola Akingboye; Financial Secretary, Khadijat ; Treasurer, Ibeneme Ebelechukwu; Publicity Secretary, ‘Seun Ibukun-Oni and Assistant Secretary, Alabidun Abdulrahman.
The extension of the Martins Odiete led executive’s  tenure is in recognition and appreciation of the impact their leadership has had since conception of the Association to its current incorporation status. During the incubation phase , the executives focused on steadying the Association which was reeling from the effects of minimal trust in online platforms and repeated registration denials.
These efforts metamorphosed into this nascent but burgeoning media Association with the primary aim of promoting ethical journalism across the various online genres.
Within the period, the executive have been saddle with the task of conducting the inaugural investiture of the pioneer members of the Association in February 2025.
As part of its commitment to ethical journalism, the Association has set up an Accreditation Committee chaired by Onyebuchi Nze (Investigators News), with the task of setting admission criteria, vetting and screening potential members. The Association is convinced that the experienced committee members will add the bakers dozen to help position the Association as a professional, ethical and pragmatic media Associate.
Other members of the Accreditation Committee include:  Fred Idehai, (CNA); Joy Odor, (Report Circle Online);  ‘Seun Ibukun Oni, (Daily Courier); and
Queen Kunde, (Ziti Online News).
The near completion of the Association’s website was greeted with oviations by the Congress. The website, when activated will serve as the repository of all ACOE’s engagements and initiatives. It will serve as an authenticator for all members to separate the wheat from the chaff in the largely uncensored online journalism space.
In our bid to factually interrogate and demand accountability in the public sector, the Association has set in motion plans to host Quarterly physical/online High-level Policy Dialogue (For head of MDAs at the state and federal level, which will include the legislature, judiciary and the highest level of executive).
To educate the citizenry and to sustain public enlightenment, ACOE by the leave of Congress will facilitate a Monthly Twitter/Facebook live engagement for members and public enlightenment.
A media committee chaired by the Publicity Secretary, ‘Seun Ibukun-Oni was immediately set up for the tasks. The other members are: Moses Okorie,  (Nations Pride); Nnamdi Okosieme, (News Allround); Ameh Gabriel, (The Sightnews); Queen Kunde, (Ziti Online News); Samuel Ahmadu (Savid News) and Raymond Nyatit Enoch,  (Paradigm  Online News) to develop and implement comprehensive media strategies for the Association. The committee will be required to coordinate media coverage for events, programs, and organizational milestones.
The Congress stressed the need to collaborate and identify opportunities for partnerships, exposures and professional development for all members.
ACOE, a  professional body of news editors who publish online newspapers in Nigeria since inception has operated with its high ideals to promote ethical journalism as a prerequisite tool for online media practitioners; to uphold tenets of the profession, promote corporate values and the welfare of its members, and to maintain associations’ set standard in line with global best practices.
Betty Chinatu Ola-Olaitan, nee Nnabugwu passes away, to be buried in the US tomorrow

CAPTION:

Late Mrs Betty Chinatu Ola-Olaitan, Nee Nnabugwu passes on April 13, 2024 in the US.

 

 

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The death has been announced of Mrs Betty Chinatu Olaitan who passed away at the age of 45 years on April 13, 2024 in the United States of America.

Announcing the death to the maiden family of the wife, is her husband of 19 years, Mr Olayiwola Olaitan.

Tragically, Betty Chinatu Nnabugwu passed away on April 13, 2024, after a courageous battle with Cancer, at Methodist Hospital, Sugarland, Texas, United States of America.

Chinatu, was the sixth child of eight children of four men and four women, was born to Late Mr. & Mrs Nicholas and Mercy Obianuju Nnabugwu, who both hailed from Olokoro in Umuahia South Local government area of Abia State of the South East region of Nigeria, in West Africa on December 12th, 1978.

Her educational journey began at Ajao Estate Primary School, Ajao Estate, Oshodi Isolo, Lagos State, where she obtained her First School Leaving Certificate in 1989. She continued her education at Ajao Estate Grammar School, graduating in 1995 with her WAEC Certificate, where she distinguished herself as the Senior Prefect Girl.Betty pursued tertiary education at Kaduna State Polytechnic, Zaria, graduating with honors, earning both OND & HND Diplomas in Mathematics and Statistics between 1996 and 2002.

Later, she furthered her education with a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) and an MBA from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) in 2013.

Her professional journey began at Heritage Bank in Nigeria, where she held various roles as a teller, customer service officer, and Fund Transfer officer from 2003 to 2017.

Betty was loving and lovable. She had zero tolerance for mediocrity. She was hard working and very supportive of family, friends and colleagues.

She was kind and calm to a fault and avoided confrontation as much as she could. She was peaceful and loved making peace.

Bettty Chinatu Olaitan died after a protracted illness in the United States of America.

She was a member of the Chapel of Transfiguration Church back in Nigeria

She got married to her husband, Mr Olayiwola Olaitan from Iwo town, Osun State in 2005 .

And together, they ventured into the United States in 2018.In the US, Betty embarked on a new career path as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), working diligently at different healthcare facilities in California and Texas, where she touched the lives of many with her compassionate care.

All arrangements for the burial have been concluded for tomorrow, Thursday, April 24, 2024 as her body will leave Clay’s Mortuary & Cremations for Clay’s Chapel and her body will be laid to rest at Brookshire Memorial Oaks Cemetery in Texas, US.

She left behind her loving husband, a son, two daughters, and seven siblings, leaving a legacy of kindness, resilience, and dedication to her family and community

Davido makes surprised appearance at Tunde Onakoya 58hr chess marathon in New York

CAPTION:

Guinness World Record: Davido makes a surprise appearance at Times Square in New York to support Tunde Onakoya during his ongoing 58-hour chess marathon.

 

By Favour Nnabugwu 

 

GWR: Last day of Kunle Onakoya’s Game Time

Popular chess master, Tunde Onakoya, has begun his attempt to surpass the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon.

Onakoya announced the commencement via his X account with the caption, “Game time.”

The event, which is underway at New York City’s iconic Times Square, started at 10am on Wednesday, April 17, and is scheduled to end at 8pm on April 19.

Nigerians abroad have trooped to the venue to support Onakoya in his quest.

Among those out cheering Onakoya is Nigerian singer, Adekunle Kosoko, popularly known as Adekunle Gold.

Onakoya is set to engage in an intense chess marathon, aiming to play for 58 hours without a single defeat.

Onakoya had said he was embarking on the challenge “for the dreams of millions of children across Africa without access to education.”

The current Guinness World Record, set by Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad of Norway on November 11, 2018, stands at 56 hours, 9 minutes, and 37 second.

NUJ FCT Correspondents Chapel mourns member, Ude Ejikeme

By Favour Nnabugwu 

 

 

The Nigeria Union of Journalists ( NUJ ) FCT Correspondents’ Chapel received with shock the demise of one of our members, Mr. Ude Ejikeme who died in the early hours of Tuesday April 16th 2024 after a brief illness at Garki Hospital Abuja.

In a statement jointly signed by Comrade Jide Oyekunle and Raphael Oni the Chairman and Secretary of the Chapel respectively on Wednesday described the untimely death of the veteran journalist as a rude shock as its happening when the union is trying to recover from a similar incident.

From God we came and to Him we shall all return, the Correspondents Chapel to this end is announcing with heavy heart the death of a professional colleague, committed and dedicated to his work, Mr. Ude Ejikeme of the Dawn Newspaper. Who died on Tuesday 16th April 2024 after a brief illness.

We console the immediate family of the deceased, Management of the Dawn Newspaper, friends and professional colleagues and pray that God Almighty comfort those he left behind by giving them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Late Ejikeme is a committed unionist and has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the union and journalism general.

We are going to miss his courageous attributes and mentorship. He was one of the pillars of the union who served the union meritoriously in different capacities with his wealth of experience and aura of intelligence.

Ejikeme is leaving behind a legacy of humility, excellence, professionalism and will forever be remembered by those he has inspired as a role model in the profession. His death has left a huge vacuum that would not be easily filled.

The statement also task all members to pray and seek God’s divine intervention in putting an end to the recurrence of this unfortunate incident in the union.

We are also using this opportunity to call on all our members to give priority to their health irrespective of the prevailing economic hardship in the country because ‘health they say is wealth.

Ejikeme hails from Mgowo, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State and he was the former news Editor of The Dawn Newspaper and Abuja Bureau Chief of Daily Star Newspaper and a civilian Commissioner of Police.

EU, GIZ, Orange launch a strategic partnership to support the digital transformation in cocoa sector, low-carbon transition in Côte d’Ivoire

By Favour Nnabugwu 

 

 

Orange (www.Orange.com), in partnership with the European Union and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) announces the launch of the “DigiGreen & Agri” project, an ambitious initiative to promote digital innovation for a transition to a more sustainable and inclusive economy in Cote D’Ivoire with joint funding €7.6million.

The overall objective of this project is to contribute to the creation of decent jobs, support the development and financing of startups within the ecosystem, and promote sustainable investments.

Initiated as part of the Team Europe Initiatives for sustainable cocoa and the low-carbon transition, the “DigiGreen & Agri” project focuses on the development of entrepreneurship, enhancing youth employability across the entire value chain of cocoa and sustainable agriculture, through digital technology. There will be a particular emphasis on youth in rural youth, women, girls, and people with disabilities through the Orange Digital Center in Côte d’Ivoire.

This ambitious partnership benefits from joint funding of €7.6 million and aims to achieve several strategic objectives:
Improving professional skills: the project aims to strengthen the professional skills of young people and women in the digital sector by offering them new opportunities in the constantly changing labour market.
Entrepreneurship promotion: “DigiGreen & Agri” will support the creation and strengthening of strong digital startups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), thus fostering innovation and economic growth.

Development of sustainable digital solutions: the partnership will strengthen the capacities of startups and MSMEs to develop and market innovative digital solutions, thus contributing to the modernization and innovation of sustainable agriculture sectors, low-carbon transition and corporate social responsibility.

Acceleration of the growth of seed startups: a seed fund will be dedicated to financing the most promising startups. Orange and GIZ will draw on the expertise of the Digital Africa programme to provide funding to startups in the ecosystem to enable them to develop their activities and accelerate their growth.

By working closely with local stakeholders, Orange, the European Union and GIZ are committed to supporting young talent, promoting entrepreneurship and catalyzing economic development in the most vulnerable communities.

Orange and GIZ are collaborating under the develoPPP programme, which is implemented on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The DigiGreen & Agri project is supported by the special initiative “Decent Employment for a Just Transition” and co-financed by the European Union.

Francesca Di Mauro, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire: “I am delighted to attend the launch of this DigiGreen & Agri project, which places youth employability at the heart of its objectives, by proposing the development of new digital solutions for sustainable agriculture and the green economy and the creation of quality jobs. This project reflects the European desire to strengthen smart, clean and secure links in the digital sector, one of the pillars of the Global Gateway strategy. It is also the result of an excellent collaboration between the private and public sectors in team Europe format: Orange’s expertise and investments, in synergy with the development aid resources of the EU and Germany, are mobilized for the inclusive growth of the country.”

Axel Klaphake, Director of Division GIZ: “This unprecedented cooperation format between GIZ, the European Union and Orange is the first development partnership with the private sector cofunded by the European Union and implemented by the develoPPP programme with the support of the Special Initiative «Decent Employment for a Just Transition» commissioned by the BMZ in Côte d’Ivoire. It will reach a very broad target group and create synergies with other cooperation programmes currently in place in Côte d’Ivoire. Technical and financial support for startups will help create jobs and build the capacity of young entrepreneurs to come up with innovative ideas to strengthen the agricultural sector, especially the sustainable cocoa sector. We are pleased to launch this partnership with our public and private partners and thank all the actors who made this cooperation possible.”

Jérôme Hénique, CEO Orange Middle East & Africa: “Orange’s commitment to sustainable development and innovation is once again taking shape today through our partnership with the German Cooperation and the European Union to support the digital transformation of the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire. The Orange Digital Centers are essential vectors of this transformation, offering a free and open innovation ecosystem, with a particular focus on youth, women and vulnerable people. Together, we are taking up the challenge of building an inclusive and environmentally friendly digital future for a more sustainable and prosperous economy. “

Mamadou Bamba, Managing Director Orange Côte d’Ivoire: “This project is a concrete illustration of Orange’s commitment to sustainable development in Africa. As a responsible digital operator, we believe that digital can play a crucial role in solving the challenges of the 21st century. That is why we are proud to partner with the European Union and GIZ to implement this ambitious project. I am convinced that the DigiGreen & Agri project will have a positive and lasting impact on the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire and will help create jobs and improve the living conditions of farmers and people.”

President Tinubu approves establishment of National Health Fellows Programme

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

In his determination to comprehensively upgrade existing primary healthcare centres and construct over 8,800 new primary healthcare centres across all local government areas in the country for accessible and qualitative healthcare delivery with the provision of new social accountability mechanisms, President Bola Tinubu has approved the establishment of the National Health Felows Programme, with young Nigerian fellows to be engaged in all the 774 local government areas in the country.

The well-trained fellows will serve as fiduciary agents to monitor and track Primary Healthcare Centre development and performance, which is to be assiduously measured against all financial inflows to the centres nationwide.

The fellowship programme will be domiciled in the Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) COordination office under the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

The fellows will be recruited, renumerated, and equipped with appropriate tools to track the performance of Basic Health Care Provision Fund-supported health facilities across the nation. President Tinubu, who is the African Union Champion for Human Resources in Healthcare, places faith in young Nigerians, and expects that their engagement in this critical nation-building task, which also includes a daily monitoring and tracking of health reforms in their locations, will usher in a new era of world-class service provision to al Nigerians in every part of the Country.

President Tinubu appeals for peace in Africa, trouble spots around the Globe

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

 

President Bola Tinubu has made a strong appeal for global peace and stability, particularly in Africa and trouble spots around the world.

Addressing members of the Diplomatic Corps and Heads of International Organizations during Iftar at the State House, President Tinubu urged the ambassadors to convey the message of peace and stability to their respective countries.

“t is an honour for me to speak to you collectively and share with you the diverse culture that Nigeria embodies. Sharing this moment with you is a privilege for us,” the Nigerian leader said.

Reflecting on the essence of Ramadan, President Tinubu emphasized the values of tolerance and perseverance, noting their importance in fostering peace and stability worldwide. “Ramadan is a period of self-denial, sharing, tolerance, and perseverance.It is a time for us to bring peace and stability to the world.l appreciate your coming and sharing of peace with us,” the President said.

President Tinubu appealed to members of the Diplomatic Corps to extend their care and support to the needy and the vulnerable, noting the collective responsibility to promote peace and stability globally.

“Let us in our hearts care for the needy and those who have nothing. Together, we can promote peace and stability in the world. Itis what you need to convey to your various countries, that stability and peace are attainable. We should al come together to promote peace in the World.

“There will be no economic stability without peace in the world,” the President stated. Ambassador Salaheddine Abbas Ibrahim, High Commissioner of Cameroon and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, expressed gratitude for the generous invitation to share Iftar with President Tinubu.

He prayed the blessings of the last days of Ramadan upon Nigeria and wished President Tinubu fruitful stewardship for peace and prosperity in the country. Commending the President for bringing renewed hope to Nigerians, High Commissioner Ibrahim assured him that Nigeria can rely on the international community as veritable partner.

Earlier at the State House mosque, President Tinubu joined other Muslim faithful to participate in the closing of the Ramadan Tafsir. He urged the Muslim faithful to uphold the lessons of the Holy month beyond

The fasting season by living in peace and harmony with one another. “Iwant to thank God Almighty that we started this Ramadan with the opening knowledge of Tafsir. I thank the Imams for their dedication, love, and commitment to the faith.

My appeal is for them to continue to preach the sermon of goodwill,” President Tinubu concluded..

Wike urges FCT residents to reflect on the significance of Easter 

By Favour Nnabugwu 

 

 

Ministers of the Federal Capital Territory, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has urged resident of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) to reflect of the significance of the Easter celebration.

He also urged them to take time out to reach out to those in need, offer helping hands to the less privileged while also spreading kindness and goodwill whenever they go.

Wike in his Easter greetings to all residents, and Christians in particular in the Territory, made the appeal.

The message read this; “On behalf of the FCT Administration, I extend my sincere felicitations to all residents of the Federal Capital Territory, especially the Christian faithful on this joyous occasion of Easter, which is a profound celebration of faith, sacrifice, and hope renewed

In the story of Easter, we find the ultimate symbol of sacrifice in the selfless act of Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for the redemption of humanity.

Therefore, as we gather with our loved ones to commemorate this sacred occasion, let us pause to reflect on the significance of the celebration as a time for reaffirming our commitment to the values of compassion, forgiveness, and empathy.

Let us therefore reach out to those in need, to offer a helping hand to the less fortunate, and spread kindness and goodwill wherever we go.

In the Federal Capital Territory, we are blessed with a diverse and vibrant community that embodies the spirit of unity in diversity. Regardless of our differences in culture, religion, or background, we are bound together by the shared values of tolerance and respect for each other.

This Easter, let us therefore celebrate our diversity as a source of strength and let us reaffirm our commitment to building a more inclusive and harmonious society for all.

Permit me also to express my sincere gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR for his visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to the progress and development of our nation.

Under his guidance, we have embarked on a journey of transformation, driven by a renewed sense of hope and optimism. As residents of the FCT, let us keep faith with President Tinubu and his administration, and let us actively contribute to the realization of his vision for a better Nigeria.

On our part, the FCT Administration remains deeply committed to ensuring the welfare and well-being of all residents. We are working tirelessly to address the various challenges facing the Territory, from security to infrastructure development and education as well as healthcare provision.

Many of our interventions as many will attest to, are already yielding the desired results. However, I recognize that true progress can only be achieved through collective effort and collaboration.

I therefore call upon every one of you to join hands with the government in our quest for progress and development. Let us work together to build a brighter future for ourselves and for generations to come.

As we celebrate Easter with our families and loved ones, let us remember the true essence of this joyous occasion and embody the spirit of sacrifice, compassion, and renewal in all that we do.
Let us also celebrate responsibly and obey all extant rules and regulations, especially on environmental sanitation and traffic while also being security conscious.

Once again, I wish you all a joyous and memorable celebration,” he concluded.