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Real Reason Ogbemudia dug his grave, shared his property to family members before death…



The news of the death of the two-time former governor of old Bendel State, Dr Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, at the age of 84, came to many as a shock. This was because many knew that the civil war hero had been battling diabetes and high blood pressure just like other people of his age for some time, but dying was something nobody thought of.

The elder statesman had been living a quiet life since he resigned from partisan politics shortly after his 83rd birthday in 2015. On that occasion, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who was governor of Edo State then, appealed to Ogbemudia to quit partisan politics and become a statesman that he deserved. Oshiomhole noted that the retired army general laid the foundation on which Edo and Delta states were being built, adding that he should not be a PDP leader alone but a leader of the people. Two months later, Ogbemudia announced his retirement from politics. He was an ardent supporter of the Oshiomhole administration and that pitched him against his own party then, the PDP. And the late elder statesman owed nobody any apologies for that after he described Oshiomhole as God-sent to Edo. It would be recalled that even while he was in the PDP, some of the party leaders visited him with a view to convincing him to support the party due to his aloofness in the affairs of the party since the coming of Oshiomhole. His answer to their request shocked the PDP leaders. He asked them: “Which road did you people pass through to get to my house?” They explained to him that they passed through New Lagos Road”.

While the PDP leaders acknowledged that the road was beautiful, he further asked them: “Who built the road?” The PDP leaders, who were now confused about where he was heading to, told him it was Oshiomhole. The late elder statesman went further to query the visitors, “So you people now expect me, as old as I am, to deceive my people? How do you expect me to tell the people of this community to vote against a man that built the roads in my area, roads that PDP failed to build when they were in power. Do you want me to look like a stupid leader?” The elder statesman admonished the PDP leaders to go and support the Oshiomhole administration which, he said, was working for the people, adding that being in opposition does not mean they should continue to criticize a government that was working for the masses. The PDP leaders left disappointed. And following what he described as the satisfactory performance of the APC administration in Edo, Ogbemudia endorsed the incumbent governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki. His Edo Mass Movement (EMM) has supporters across the three senatorial districts of the state made up of youths, veteran politicians and market women. And because he is adored across the state, his directive that the people of Edo should vote for Obaseki contributed immensely to the victory of the governor in the September 28, 2016 governorship election. Despite his differences with the PDP in the state, the late Ogbemudia kept his relationship with the former Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, who he described as a “very good friend and political ally”. Iheya residence For many in the state, it is still unbelievable that despite his profile as a military and civilian governor, he chose to live in his Iheya Street, off New Lagos Road residence when leaders of his calibre live in the Government Reserve Area (GRA). Ogbemudia’s humility had no bounds. Asked why he chose to live in Iheya Street, he said, “GRA is too quiet for me. I prefer to live where our people live. I enjoy the noise. Secondly, my mother was buried in this my Iheya residence and I cannot abandon where my mother is buried. In fact, I dug my own grave close to that of my mother. That is where I will be buried the day I die. I want to be laid close to my mother because it was through her I came to this earth”.

Also explaining why he decided to share his property amongst his children while he was alive, he explained: “I have seen such things tear families apart when the bread winners die. And I don’t want that to happen to my family when I die. So I have shared all I have to my family and nothing is being contested. So if God calls me any day, my children know what belongs to them and there will be no quarrel because I hate quarrels and such crisis in the family”. Even at death, Ogbemudia remains the humble general. He had directed that he would want to buried within seven days of his death and that his body should not be kept in the mortuary. Consequently, Obaseki expressed his desire to respect the wishes of the elder statesman and the programme for his burial was arranged accordingly. His remains arrived Benin Airport from Lagos on Tuesday and were received by Obaseki and his counterpart from Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa. Shortly after the military aircraft, which ferried the body arrived the Benin airport, Obaseki and Okowa went inside the aircraft where they opened the corpse with a view to ensuring it was that of the elder statesman. The corpse was accompanied by Ogbemudia’s younger wife, Yetunde. Others who received the corpse at the Benin Airport include the deceased’s eldest son, Sam Ogbemudia Jr, the Deputy Governor of the state, Comrade Philip Shaibu, Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Taiwo Akerele, APC leaders, market women and youths. Members of the Benin cultural troupes, who sang to welcome the corpse, betrayed emotions when the body was transferred to a black BMW ambulance. The casket was gold plated. Tears flowed freely when the body arrived. The pains were visible on the faces of Obaseki and Okowa. Obaseki lamented: “This was not what I bargained for because I just came into office few months ago, and our late elder statesman was one of those I was hoping will help me lead our great state because he had been very supportive from day one. I saw him after my victory in the election when I went to visit him and we spent quite a lot of time in public and in private and he admonished me and assured me of his support. I cannot forget the encouragement he gave to me,, without his open and clear endorsement, my campaign and victory would have been very difficult. For us in Edo we will miss him, but we will remember him for the great legacies that he left for us”.

Okowa said: “ I saw him last when he celebrated his birthday in 2015 at the Public lecture and it was quite an interesting moment. We talked about a lot of things, I thank God that he still lives through his works. Obviously our elder statesman was somebody that meant a lot to us, Edo and Delta states. I recalled in 2015 when he invited me for his birthday. We will remember him for so many good things. I, particularly growing up in Edo, particularly Edo College, he was military administrator then. He did a lot for the Midwest Region and today a lot of things stand in his name and we continue to remember him and I believe he is a role model to all politicians. There is a lot that can be done even in the midst of difficulties, that is exactly what he represents. He was a friend to all”. Meanwhile, the committee set up by the state government to give the late elder statesman a befitting burial, led by the Edo SSG, Osarodion Ogie, is forging ahead with its assignment. Dignitaries across the country also continued to throng the state to pay condolence. Oshiomhole, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Chief EK Clark, former governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, Gen.Yakubu Gowon, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief James Ibori, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Parry Osayande, Prof.Gregory Akenzua and several others have continued to pay tributes. Oshiomhole said: “ I have enjoyed a long history of relationship with our leader. It is not flattering when I say to people that God sent Ogbemudia to come and lay foundation for us. And you begin to appreciate this more when you discover that by the time he made this undisputable solid foundation, there were some of his counterparts who felt that they had no obligations to the people of their states, that they were accountable to their masters at Dodan Barrack. But what Ogbemudia did flowed from his conviction that this part of the world deserved the very best that government could provide. So we must find sufficient consolation in the fact that our leader immortalized himself before he left”.

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JUST IN: Tinubu Meets Ibori, Wike, Makinde In Abuja




President Bola Tinubu is currently holding a closed door meeting with James Ibori, former Governor of Delta state; Nyesom Wike, the immediate past Governor of Rivers state; and Seyi Makinde, the Oyo State Governor.


The meeting is taking place at the President’s office in Aso Villa.


Reports say the three politicians arrived at the Aso Rock Villa at about 4:20om on Friday, 2 June, 2023.


Details shortly…

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Court Orders Union Bank To Pay Former Manager N20.2m Over Wrongful Termination…….



Justice Maureen Esowe of the Lagos division of the National Industrial Court has ordered the Union Bank to immediately pay the total sum of N20, 261, 810 million to one of its retired staff, Asenime Claire Ojuzo.


The judgment sum according to Justice Esowe, is the shortfall of gratuity Union Bank ought to pay Mrs. Asenime, upon her retirement.


Justice Esowe made the order while delivering judgment in a suit marked NICN/LA/534/2017, filed by a retired officer and the bank.


The claimant, a former senior manager at Union Bank, through her lawyer, Chief Paul Omoijiade, had asked the court to “declare that the purported approval by the bank of the claimant’s withdrawal from service which the Claimant did not apply for was wrong.


“A declaration that the purported determination of the Claimant’s contract of service by Union Bank is wrongful, same having been done without due process as laid down in the bank’s handbook and the bank’s custom and practice.


“A declaration that the purported removal of the claimant from his employment as Senior Manager (SM) without due process amounts to redundancy for which the claimant is entitled to redundancy benefit.


“A declaration that Union Bank is in arrears of N18, 114, 600 million, in the payment of the Claimant’s gratuity.


“A declaration that the deduction of the sum of N16,106,219.66 million, as outstanding loans, status car, unearned medical, outstanding status generator, and car from the claimant’s gratuity is unlawful.


“An order of the honourable court directing Union Bank to pay to Ojuzo the sum of N16,106,219.66 million, deducted from the claimant’s gratuity.


“An order of the honourable court directing Union Bank to pay to Ojuzo the sum of N18,114, 600 being a shortfall in the gratuity paid to her.


“An order of the honourable court that the bank pays the sum of N12 million, to the Claimant as compensation for the defendant’s wrongful and unlawful action withdrawing the claimant’s services without due process.


“An order of the honourable court for the payment of interest at the rate of 20% on the deductions and withheld gratuity under paragraphs (f) and (g) above.


“An order of the honourable court that the bank pay to the claimant the sum of N1 million, being the cost of litigation.


During the trial of the suit, the claimant told the court that she was a staff of the bank until her employment was wrongfully withdrawn on November 22, 2013, and her terminal benefits were never paid in full.


She also told the court that Union Bank also deducted the sum of N16, 106, 219.66 million, which the bank referred to as outstanding loans, unearned housing, status car, and unearned leave from her benefit, adding that, said she never applied for withdrawal service, therefore, the withdrawal of her services is tantamount to redundancy.


Defending the suit, Union Bank through its witness, Francis Idiaghe, who was led by Feliz O. Ogungbemi, told the court that there is no provision in the Trust Deed of variation that the claimant or any employee of Union Bank can remain in service till the age of 60. Rather, than underemployment, either party can determine the contract by giving a month’s notice.


The witness told the court that the Defendant, exercising her right under the contract, determined the contract by a letter of withdrawal of service dated November 22, 2016, issued to the claimant. Adding that the sum of N16,106,219.66 million, deducted from the claimant’s terminal benefits covers the loans (N13,683,188.86 million) taken by the claimant during the pendency of her employment and the outstanding and unpaid money (N2,247,210 million) covering the cost of her status car and a generating set.


Union Bank in its final written address, asked the court to determine “Whether the claimant is entitled to a declaration that the withdrawal of the Claimant’s employment is unlawful.


“Whether the Claimant having been paid her terminal benefit and having accepted same, can be heard to complain that his contract was not properly determined.


“Whether the termination of the Claimant of employment by the Defendant amounts to redundancy.


“Whether the Claimant is entitled to the sum of N18,114,600.00 (Eighteen Million One Hundred and Fourteen Thousand Six Hundred Naira) as outstanding gratuity from the Defendant.


“Whether the deduction of the sum from the Claimant’s terminal benefit in the liquidation of Claimant’s outstanding staff loans, status, generator loan, and unearned medical is unlawful.


“Whether by the evidence placed before this Honourable Court, the Claimant is entitled to damages in the sum of N12 million.


“Whether the Claimant is entitled to interest at the rate of 20% on the alleged outstanding gratuity and the amount allegedly deducted from her gratuity.


“Whether the Claimant is entitled to the sum of N1 million, as cost of litigation.”


Justice Esowe, in her judgment on the suit after the evaluation of parties’ submissions, and citing plethora of legal authorities, held that: “having gone through the claimant’s claim, evidence led in support, the defendant’s defense, evidence led in support, with the final written submissions of Counsel on both sides, this Court, while adopting all the issues formulated by Counsel, has distilled a sole issue for determination, to wit: Whether the Claimant has proved his case to be entitled to the reliefs sought.” culled: Business Hallmark.

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Dr. Ope Banwo Speaks On Transitioning  Naija Lives Matter Organization To Non-Partisan Mode 





***Says Organization Will Now Focus On Projects To Improve Nigerian Lives


Dr. Ope Banwo, the founder of Naija Lives Matter (NLM), a non-governmental organization committed to better lives for Nigerians has explained the organization’s decision to refocus its priorities.


In a statement released on Tuesday, Dr. Banwo stated that the organization’s mission and goals extend beyound the 2023 elections, electioneering campaigns, and politics.


According to him, the process of the organization had been clearly communicated from its very beginning to avoid any accusations of opportunism or policy inconsistencies, which are unfortunately common in our country when disagreements arise.


He said; “Since 2011, the NLM organization has consistently de-emphasized its partisan support for any specific candidate after the elections and campaigns are over, enabling it to concentrate on its global mandate of making Naija lives matter to all Nigerians, irrespective of their political affiliations.


“When Naija Lives Matter endorsed Peter Obi as our chosen candidate in August 2022, we made it clear that our partisan involvement would solely extend until the conclusion of the elections. Subsequently, we would focus on other aspects of our mission and goals, for which our organization was founded in 2011.


“In the past, we supported Jonathan through the GEJ project, rallied behind Buhari through the Buhari4Naija project in 2015, and even had a Moghalu4Naija project before eventually endorsing Peter Obi for the 2023 elections.


“Our commitment is not irreversibly tied to any particular politician; it lies in what we believe is in the best interest of Nigeria and its people,” Dr. Banwo said.


With the transition, NLM now moves beyond the recent election cycle, with a current focus on organizing projects aimed at making the lives of all Nigerians better.


“Henceforth, we shall therefore leave the legal and political affairs to lawyers and politicians, and respect the decisions of the courts, whatever they may be.


“In alignment with our mandate and the previously declared engagement period for the 2023 elections, we hereby inform our members that Naija Lives Matter will now shift its focus towards other aspects of our charter such as mass non-partisan mobilization on national issues, youth empowerment training, workshops, community assistance services for the less privileged in Nigeria, and other activities.


“In light of this new direction, we will convene meetings with our state directors and cell leaders to announce additional NLM initiatives that extend beyond politics in the coming days. These initiatives will focus on non-partisan national mobilization, youth empowerment through training and workshops, and community-building responsibilities.


“All our threads on WhatsApp and other social media platforms will once again be dedicated to NLM as we officially conclude the Peter Obi Nation Project for the 2023 elections,” Dr. Banwo noted.


Thanking members of the Peter Obi Nation Project of the NLM organization for their tremendous efforts during the 2023 elections, Dr. Banwo said that together they fought valiantly in a highly contested electoral process, adding that together they gave as much as they got in the very bitter partisan electioneering campaign for the organization’s endorsed candidate, Peter Obi.


“We did not compromise and many of us even paid the price of alienating some of our long-term friends in the heat of partisan battle.


“To this end, I am immensely proud of every individual involved in this monumental battle, and it has been an honor serving as the Chief Vawolence Officer for Naija Lives Matter side of things during this 2923 election cycle. We also offer No apologies for our passionate campaign for what we passionately believed in. It was what it was.


Acknowledging the fact that many individuals who joined NLM’s special Peter Obi Nation Project were primarily interested in supporting the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, and may not share NLM”s broader mandate and NGO charter, Dr. Banwo said that the organization would understand if those solely focused on partisan politics choose to disassociate themselves from the NLM organization across it numerous groups and threads, adding that the organizational continuity transcends any single election cycle.


“To be clear, this pivot by NLM does not mean we no longer support Peter Obi. We continue to stand behind his 2023 mandate which we believed in, wholeheartedly. Nevertheless, our organization was not established solely for this election cycle. We have followed the same refocusing approach after the elections in 2011 and 2015. Although the intensity of this cycle was undeniable, our policy remains intact.


“We hope that our fellow compatriots engaged in the highly intense campaign for 2023 will understand and respect our decision to shift away from combative partisan politics at this juncture. Instead, we aim to engage the Tinubu government in a non-partisan yet critical manner, reminding them of their promises and holding them accountable. Should the courts later remove him from office, we will also celebrate. But for now, we have a country to assist in governance.”

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