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Professor Onitiri Laid to Rest in Grand Style

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Late pioneer Director of the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Professor Herbert Maurice Adebola Onitiri (OFR) who passed on December 16, 2016 has been committed to mother earth.

The interment which took place at the highbrow Ebony vaults on Alagbon Close, Ikoyi Lagos marked the end of the funeral obsequies.

It all began with a service of songs in the abode of the late professor in Surulere, on Wednesday January 25th 2017 which was hosted by The African Church, Arch Cathedral Bethel Choir, of which the late icon was a great benefactor.

The day after, a Christian wake and Evening of Tributes took place at the Class Event Center, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria premises where distinguished Nigerian including Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Chief Philip Asiodu and the deceased God-daughter, Ms. Funke Aboyade (SAN) eulogized the late Professor Onitiri.

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The rites culminated in a funeral service at the African Church Arch Cathedral Bethel, along Broad Street, Lagos.

Though a very solemn assembly, the divine enclosure was filled to the brim, spilling into the streets as  the provost of the church mounted the pulpit to give his sermon tagged, “Living the life of eternity with God” in which he eulogized the virtues of the departed guru as someone who lived an exemplary Christian life in love and humility, in spite of his grand status in the society.

He admonished the congregation of the need to have the seed of eternity and the life of God in them in order to see things the godly way and live fruitful and blessed lives.

Prominent personalities present at the service were former Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, His Royal Highness, Oba Isotun of Ijesha, former secretary of the Commonwealth of Nations , Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Ambassador Olusola Sani and the first lady of Kwara State, Deaconess Omolewa Ahmed with several professors and other members of the academia also in attendance.

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After the funeral service, a long convoy escorted the remains of the late professor for interment. While praying for the departed soul, the officiating minister poured encomium on him for his ideals, virtues and the noble values he represented, admonishing the living to show love and kindness to humanity as life was transient and only one’s deeds of love would stand at the end of life’s journey.

The highpoint of the ceremony was the burial reception held at the Muson Center, Onikan Lagos where guests, arrayed in different attires for the event, were treated to some of the finest in cuisines and drinks while traditional dance and the Icons Music Band ensured everyone was shaking their bodies to the pulsating beats or doing merry bobs with their heads.

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Son-in-law to the late scholar and President of DBN,  Mr. Osa Sonny Adun, who was one of the chief coordinators of the event, said his father-in-law was an embodiment of humility and kindness, dedicated to everything he embarked on, adding that, he  would be greatly missed.

Indeed, it was a befitting farewell to a great man.

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Between Gov. Hope Uzodimma And Imo Hoteliers…….

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Governor Hope Uzodimma has prevented the proposed strike by the Imo Hoteliers Association.

The strike was scheduled to commence on Tuesday but the Chairman of the association, Mr. Chima Chukwunyere announced in Owerri that the strike has been suspended.

Chukwunyere said that the proposed strike was suspended after due consultations with Gov. Uzodimma.

According to him, Uzodimma promised to personally intervene to solve all the outstanding issues raised by the association.

“The governor condemned the actions of sealing and looting of the hotels illegally and directed that no ministry should use consultants in revenue collection.

” He promised to convene a meeting of the executives of the Imo Internal Revenue Service and those of the Nigeria Hotel Association, Imo chapter, to harmonize the demand notice issued to the hoteliers.“

Chukwunyere said that the governor also advised members to pay taxes to enable the Imo government to function and serve the state better.

The association on Sept. 10 threatened to embark on strike over alleged multiple taxations, illegal sealing of hotels, and unprofessional conduct of revenue collectors.

 

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Despite his “expulsion”, ADC presidential candidate, Kachikwu, makes INEC list

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Mr Kachikwu was expelled from the party last Friday by the Ralph Nwosu-led NWC.

The embattled presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dumebi Kachikwu, has been named among candidates validly nominated by political parties for the 2023 presidential election despite his “expulsion” from the party.

Mr Kachikwu was among the 18 presidential candidates approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday.

The Ralph Nwosu-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party announced the expulsion of Mr Kachikwu from the party last Friday for alleged anti-party activities.

He was expelled along with seven other key party leaders following the recommendation of a seven-member disciplinary committee earlier set up by the ADC NWC. The NWC had earlier on 2 September placed the presidential candidate on suspension.

Mr Nwosu, in a statement issued late Friday, said the disciplinary committee found Mr Kachikwu guilty of allegations of gross misconduct, and gross violations of its constitution, among others.

But in its reaction the following day, the interim leadership of the ADC dismissed Mr Kachikwu’s purported expulsion.

The interim National Chairman of the Party, Patricia Akwashiki, in a statement, described the action of the erstwhile chairman, Mr Nwosu, as the antics of a sinking man clutching at straws.

The crisis rocking the ADC has its genesis in the call for the resignation of the national chairman by 27 state chairmen of the party, having spent 17 years in the office.

At the time of filing this report, we could not confirm if the party’s leadership had made formal or legal requests to the commission to remove the candidate from the list.

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Stella Obasanjo’s brother, John Abebe, arraigned for fraud

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Dr. John Abebe, the younger brother of a former First Lady, Stella Obasanjo, was on Monday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday before the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja over allegations of fraud.

Abebe was arraigned alongside a former Head of Firstbank Plc, United Kingdom Correspondent Office, Kamoru Alade Oladimeji, before Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe on six charges of conspiracy, stealing, and obtaining money under pretence.

Part of the counts against the defendants read: “That you, Dr. John Abebe and Kamoru Alade Oladimeji, on or about the 4th day of June 2013 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; stealing the sum of N120 million worth of property of Arsenal Technologies Limited.”

“That you, Dr. John Abebe and Kamoru Alade Oladimeji, on or about the 4th day of June 2013, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; obtaining by false pretence the sum of N120 million property of Arsenal Technologies Limited under the pretence that your property lying being and situate at 9, Magbon Close, Ikoyi-Lagos State, which you pledged as the security to the Arsenal Technologies Limited was unencumbered, which representation you knew to be false.”

“That you Dr. John Abebe and Inducon Nigeria Limited, on or about the 4th day of June 2013, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud and to gain for yourself the sum of $1,000,000.00 or its Naira equivalent from Arsenal Technologies Limited by false pretence to procure the execution of valuable security to wit; a deed of assignment between Inducon Nigeria Limited and Arsenal Technologies Limited, wherein you falsely claimed that the property lying being and situate at No. 9, Magbon Close, Ikoyi-Lagos was unencumbered and that you have full powers to assign and transfer the said property to the assignor; Arsenal Technologies Limited.

According to EFCC, the offences committed are contrary to Sections 280(1), (12), 8 (7), 285(1) and 278(1)(b) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Following their plea, the prosecutor, Sulaimon urged the court to fix a trial date and to remand the defendants in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services until the hearing and determination of the charge.

However, the defense counsel, Anthony Popo and Sam Etaifo urged the court to grant their clients bail in the most liberal terms.

While moving the bail application on behalf of Abebe, Popo told the judge that the matter before her is a commercial transaction between the first defendant and the nominal complainant, which he is ready to settle out of court.

He also claimed that Abebe had paid back the sums of $100,000 and N30 million to the complainant and had also deposited the title document of 26 acres of land and the documents of a property in London to show his seriousness to resolve the matter.

The lawyer further submitted that the defendant would not jump bail since he never violated the terms of the administrative bail granted to him by the EFCC.

The prosecutor did not oppose the application but urged the court to impose stringent terms that will ensure the defendant’s appearance in court for their trial.

In her ruling, Justice Abike-Fadipe granted the first defendant bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum.

She directed that the surety must be a resident of Lagos and must deposit the title document of a land property whose value must not be less than N20m

The judge also admitted the second defendant to bail in the sum of N10m with one surety in like sum, who must be a resident of the state.

Justice Abike-Fadipe further ordered that the defendant shall continue to enjoy the administrative bail earlier granted to them by the EFCC but if they failed after seven days to perfect the terms of the bail she granted them, they shall be arrested and remanded in prison.

She adjourned the case to December 6 for commencement of trial.

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