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Charles Odibo’s Statement on Imo State Government; False and Misleading- Concerned Imolites

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Banker turned Blogger; Charles Odibo, is an erstwhile Marketing Communication Manager of Fidelity Bank and two other banks, who was notoriously known for running several rackets while he was in active service. February this year, he launched a website aimed at promoting the Igbo people, which was well applauded by all sundry for his interest in moving the South East region forward. Not many knew his motive was for selfish financial gains and not for the interest of the Ndigbo’s. In other to achieve his motive, he organized and unleashed media attacks on Imo State Government under the leadership of our hardworking and indefatigable Governor; Hope Uzodinma. It came as a shock to many on the obvious lies he posted on his blog, but those who know him attest to the fact that; he is a pig who will always return to the dirt no matter how clean you wash it. He has a double-faced personality, who is thirsty for government appointments and financial gains.

 

Some said; “he is so shameless that he would sell his dignity for monetary gains. More reason he was denied a juicy government appointment by former Governor Emeka Ihedioha, whom he always lobbied for appointment by sponsoring media campaign and opinion piece for. Iheodiah rebuffed his appointment due to his unprofessional conduct.” 

 

Last week, he published a piece of false and concocted information embedded with lies from the pit of hell to create unrest between the Imo State Government, Governor Hope Uzodinma and Imolites, who are currently battling the issues of insecurity. Sources said; ever since the Supreme Court sent his benefactor packing as Governor of Imo, he has vowed to use the media to peddle and sponsor fake news to create unrest in the state. “Imolites are wise enough to stand by their hardworking Governor who is also recovering from an attack on his country home recently. Employing a campaign of calumny by pitching the Imo state government and its indigenes against itself, is an act unworthy of a patriot.” A senior political appointee said.

 

From a thorough investigation carried out by Concerned Imolites, Charles Odibo, the co-founder of a failed mobile app, Tomachy, also threatened the Government of Imo State by vowing to continue posting fake news about them in the guise of exposing them. He was even said to have demanded for funds from Imo State Government in other to ceasefire from the cheap blackmail and media attack. A government appointee who claimed anonymity averred that; “He has sent several messages soliciting for funds to stop the bad press and also threatened that if his demands are not met, he will keep on attacking Imo State Government and Governor Uzodinma. He said there are more stories about Governor Hope-led administration stored in his kitty, to be release soon.”

 

According to the code of conduct of the noble pen-pushing profession, Charles has contravened some section in the constitution, which frowns at blackmail, defamation and threat. If found guilty of the above crimes, it’s outright suspension from the profession and can also be tried in the court of law for cyberbullying and other related crimes. Imo State will give no room for such media practitioner, who would only use their platform to promote dichotomy instead of celebrating the good works the Governor has been doing to restore the lost glory of Imo State. ”Governor Hope loves the media and he has always supported them at every slightest opportunity nobody will hold us to ransom at the point. Our state will never fall for such threat from that filthy attention seeker. It’s against our ideology, we don’t negotiate with blackmailers and scammers like Charles, knowing where his allegiance belongs. “Imo State has zero-tolerance for quacks like him hiding under the guise of a media practitioner, who loves interviewing the keyboard. Such practices are part of the menace tearing apart the journalism profession.” 

 

People like Charles Odibo are the reason Federal Government has raised plans to regulate the online media space to curb blackmailers and fake news peddlers like him from misleading the general public with untrue information. Another Government source said; using an hammer to kill a fly in this situation is not necessary, we know his background during his days as a marketing head in the banking sector, he was never straightforward, he was not dependable and trusted. He was even alleged to have been involved in several shady deals. “People like this should not make way into government. He should be ignored. Since he launched the media platform earlier this year, we have heard several complaints of character assassination and defamation of character. That’s not what Journalism is all about. People like him should not be encouraged. Imolite are behind our Governor and we stand by him in solidarity. Any attempt to cause further unrest, the fangs of the law will strike him.”

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Coastline terminals: Dangote Group does not own, not affiliated with ICTSI

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Our attention has been drawn to an online publication by Sahara Reporters titled ‘EXCLUSIVE: How Suspended NPA Boss, Hadiza Usman Awarded Coastline Terminals To Dangote’s Proxy Company In Shady Deal’, dated Sunday, May 9, 2021.

 

We want to state without equivocation that Dangote Group does not own and has no affiliation whatsoever with ICTSI as was suggested in the publication.

 

The Dangote Group of Companies refutes in entirety the claims made in the story and condemn the deliberate attempt by Sahara Reporters to implicate our organisation in a matter we know nothing about.

 

The group or any of our business units has no dealings on the coastline terminals in Onne Ports Complex nor are we in anyway in any agreement or partnership with the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) or ICSTSI for control of operation of any of its berths in the complex.

 

Our stand on this matter is justified by a letter dated Sunday, May 9, 2021 sent from Manila, Philippines, by ICTSI, Senior Vice-President, Philippines, Hans-Ole Madsen, to the Editor, Sahara Reporters, which states: “We would like to clarify that International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) is a Philippine publicly listed independent company engaged in the operation of 33 ports on 6 continents. ICTSI ranks as Top-10 port operator in the world. ICSTSI is not owned or in any way affiliated with the Dangote group of companies.”

 

It smacks of irresponsible journalism for Sahara Reporters to publish such an ill-researched, libelous and foul-intentioned story, aimed at tarnishing the good image of a responsible organisation.

 

We are consulting with our Legal Department on the steps to take on the issue and our decision will be communicated in due course.

 

The Dangote Group of Companies supports responsible journalism that respects the sacredness of facts and uphold the noble ethics of journalism.

 

Signed

Anthony Chiejina

Group Chief, Branding & Communications, Dangote Group

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Insecurity: Lagos flashes red alert, as Sanwo-Olu meets stakeholders

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• Sweeping Okada restrictions in the offing – Governor

• Lagosians demands Special Status for Lagos, to support security operations

Lagosians have asked the State Government to take decisive actions on the security in Lagos against the background of worrying trend of kidnappings, armed robbery, cult clashes and violent assaults.

Also, widespread complaints by citizens about the menace of commercial motorcycles, otherwise known as Okada, in Lagos elicited a re-assuring response from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The Government will be drastically reviewing the operations of commercial motorcycles in the State. These are part of the outcomes at a Stakeholders’ Meeting on Security held on Monday at the Secretariat, Alausa.

The meeting was attended by Service Commanders of all security formations in the State, Chief Judge of Lagos, traditional rulers, transport unions’ members, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Labour unions, religious leaders, Community Development Council (CDC), youth groups and Students’ Union leaders.

Sanwo-Olu said the meeting was convened in response to the growing threat posed by the lawless activities to the safety and security of lives in the State.

The Governor said the string of lawlessness daily witnessed from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required an urge actions to address the threat, stressing that the State Government would be announcing new reform in transportation which will further make changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in Lagos.

He said, although the State Government had responded in real time to the challenges, and had deployed tactics ranging from force-for-force, carrot-and-stick to diplomacy in addressing the security concerns, he said the town hall event was initiated to meet with various stakeholder for deliberation and the way forward.

He said: “We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders are disregarding and flouting the restrictions we imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis. We have also observed with dismay, the ongoing violent confrontation by commercial motorcyclists against our law enforcement agencies.

“Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the State in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality.”

Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would be unveiling 500 units of First and Last Mile mini buses next week as safer alternative means of transportation in checkmating activities of Okada riders.

The Governor also made it known that the Government would fully implement the State’s Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2019 as amended, which will enable the Government take over and demolish abandoned buildings and construction sites turned into safe haven for hoodlums and miscreants.

He added that the State would strengthen its clean-up exercise of shanties and spots unapproved for settlement, but which had turned to hideouts for criminals.

The State Government, Sanwo-Olu said, would be recruiting more personnel into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Corps (LSNC) to boost intelligence gathering at the community level, adding that full implementation of the Community Policing Initiative was underway in which more than a thousand constabularies would be recruited in partnership with the police.

The Governor said the consultative meeting with the stakeholders was necessary to make the State’s security strategy effective and sustainable, noting that all hands must be on deck to work with the Government in collecting, sharing and evaluating credible intelligence that would strengthen security of lives and property in Lagos.

He said: “Lagos must continue to enjoy an atmosphere of peace, safety and all-encompassing security. We are determined to arrest the current security challenges being faced in the State, and we will take every step necessary to deliver on our promises on a safe, secure and liveable state. We will also continue to communicate regularly with key stakeholders, and all the residents for updates on the progress we are making.”

Appraising security situation in Lagos, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, raised alarm over rising security breaches resulting from the menace of Okada operations in the State. He observed that separatist groups and intolerant religious leaders were taking the advantage of tense security situations across the country to compound criminality in Lagos.

Between January and early this month, Odumosu disclosed that 320 commercial motorcycles were arrested in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects detained and 480 ammunitions recovered.

In the same period, the Lagos police boss said Okada accounted for 83 per cent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos.

He said: “The menace of Okada operators does not end with avoidable accidents. Crime reports from the field have shown that, a greater percentage of crimes, ranging from armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing, traffic robbery to carjacking and cash snatching from bank customers, are attributable to armed hoodlums who operate on Okada.

“The nuisance constituted by the Okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law abiding citizens. Sections of Lagos populace have come to regard commercial motorcycles as a necessary evil, it has become imperative for Government to take more drastic measures against their notoriety.”

“The State Police Command strongly advises the State Government is to immediately review the current guidelines guiding the operation of Okada as a means of commercial transportation in the State and take decisive legal and administrative steps and policies that will curb their traffic, criminal and other nefarious activities in the State.”

There was a panel of discussion chaired by an award-winning Television Show host, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, in which residents aired their views on the current state of security in Lagos and across the country.

The discussants expressed concerns on the security implications of allowing operations of Okada in restricted routes and demanded a ‘Special Status’ for Lagos as ethnic melting pot. They also urged the Government to create economic opportunities and vocational engagement for unemployed residents to further lessen crime rates.

Addressing the complaints about criminals hiding in uncompleted buildings and abandoned vehicles within communities, Vice Chairman of Lagos State Community Development Advisory Council, Mr. Rotimi Ayoku-Owolawi said the CDC was ready to offer support to the State Government and the police in identifying dark spots and lock-up markets in which criminals take as havens to launch their nefarious activities.

Commissioner for Information, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, described the stakeholders’ engagement as proactive, given string of security breaches in neighbouring States and far away places.

He said gone were the days when citizens were at the mercy of pick pockets and amateur criminals; the contemporary crimes, he said, are being committed by armed robbers, bloodsucking bandits and daredevil gangsters.

“We don’t want to wait till the Lagos becomes another epicenter of evil and criminality that may spiral out of control,” Omotoso said.

At the end of the stakeholders’ meeting, a 12-point resolution was reached and agreed upon by the participants in public interest.

The resolution reads in part: “Attacks on law enforcement officers and agencies should not be handled with kid gloves. Culprits must be arrested and the full weight of the law brought to bear on such persons.

“Government must take stringent measures to ban the use of Okada as means of transportation in the State; alternatives must be provided by the State Government in Agriculture, Wealth Creation, Women Affairs Empowerment programmes and others.

“Government should take over abandoned and uncompleted buildings used as hideouts of criminals in the State immediately. The State must take control of abandoned vehicles in its nooks and crannies and seal off houses, hotels and event centres where hoodlums are found to hibernate or where arms are stored.”

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Listing on LCFE: Heritage Bank-Dukia Gold set to unlock N344trillion market worth of gold

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Heritage Bank for being part of valuable private sector collaboration with Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refining Co. Limited is set to unlock the over N344trillion market worth of gold investible instruments in the solid minerals sector with the concluded plans of being listed on the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE).

This move that will entrench expand revenue in the non-oil sector through diversification, by stimulating growth in solid minerals in line with the objectives of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) will also put Nigeria on the global map with regards to standardized gold tracing, sourcing procurement and trading it.

In summary, this was disclosed at the LCFE-Dukia Gold media parley held yesterday at the LCFE Trading Floor in Lagos.

Speaking at the parley, the Chairman of Dukia Gold, Tunde Fagbemi who commended Heritage Bank as the project financier and for its other pertinent supports, said Heritage had so far been the banker’s bank for playing key role in backing to promote the first solid mineral listing on Exchange in West Africa.

Specifically, he explained that the instruments which would be in the form of Exchange Traded Notes (ETN), Commercial Papers (CP), and other gold-backed securities would enable the company to deepen the commodities market in Nigeria. He added that it would increase capacity, generate foreign exchange for the government to diversify external reserves and create massive employment across the metal production value chain.

“We are proud to be the first gold company whose products would be listed on the Lagos Futures and Commodities Exchange. The listing shall enable us facilitate our infrastructure development, expand capacity and create fungible products.

“This has potential to shore up Nigeria’s foreign reserve and create an alternative window for preservation of pension funds.

“As a global player, we comply with the practices and procedures of London Bullion Market Association and many other international bodies. “Our refinery will also have multiplier effects on the development of rural areas anywhere it is located. “There must be constant power supply, good road network and other social amenities, apart from employment opportunities for the rural dwellers,” Fagbemi explained.

He also noted that with its current 25 production capacity pound and further room for expansion, Dukia Gold has the ability to meet both local and international demand through its gold refinery services to smelt melts.

Commenting on the collaboration, the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo said that the partnership was one of the many initiatives of the bank’s foundational objectives of wealth creation, preservation and transfer across generations.

L-R: Olawale Akoni (SAN), Managing Partner, Babalakin & Co; Olusegun Akanji, Divisional Head, Strategy & Business Solutions, Heritage Bank Plc; Ife Fashola, Group Chief Executive of KADARI Capital; Tunde Fagbemi, Chairman, Dukia Gold; Akin Akeredolu-Ale, MD of Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE) and Olusoji Elias, Council General, Dukia Gold, during the LCFE-Dukia Gold media parley held yesterday at the LCFE Trading Floor in Lagos.

He further disclosed that the bank offer the gold commodity market three focal contact point in partnership, knowledge and perspective sharing, which ensure that every transaction was auditable to protect investors.

Sekibo who was represented by the Divisional Head, Strategy and Business Solutions, of the Bank, Olusegun Akanji, said the bank had created a buying centre for verification of quality and quantity of gold and reference price to ensure price discovery in line with the global standard.

Speaking, the MD, LCFE, Akin Akeredolu-Ale, who also commended Heritage Bank for its critical role in aiding the fundraising and the financier institution for the Dukia Gold’s diversified financial instruments, affirmed that this would enhance the company credibility rating and put Nigeria on the global map.

He noted that the LCFE was ready to support all the stakeholders in the gold sector in the areas of market creation, price discovery, and dissemination of market information, among others.

Gbenga Awe, Divisional Head, Agribusiness, Natural Resources & Project Devt., of Heritage Bank noted that one of the benefits of this initiative was that the local miners could now trade their gold at the bank’s designated experience centers, as solid foundation had been created for market, price and asset discovery.

Akintola noted that the firm had the capability, technicalities and the necessary accreditation to operate in the gold value chain.

He stated that the listing on the Lagos Commodities would raise awareness of performance of Dukia Gold to the investing world and position it as foremost number one Precious Metals Refining Company in Nigeria.

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