Davido Child Abduction Scandal: My Story – Dele Momodu

imageIn September 2015, I got a call from Dr Adedeji Adeleke, a long time family friend, telling me his son had fathered a baby girl with my cousin, Sophia Momodu. I rejoiced with him as any reasonable soul would do. He apologised that he had not called all along because he wasn’t sure if Sophie’s baby was going to turn out a fake one like that of two others who had turned up at his doorstep. But mercifully, according to Dr Adeleke, Sophie’s baby passed the DNA Test by over 98 percent and he was elated. I congratulated him again as a proud grandfather. He said he would like to meet me with Sophie since Sophie’s dad, Uncle Jibola Momodu, passed on years ago and Sophie mentioned me as her cousin.

I had known about Sophie’s baby through her first cousin Ruth Abraham and had called to congratulate her. I was happy when she sent me pictures of the baby and other romantic pictures with David Adeleke, aka Davido.

But I never contacted David’s dad deliberately so as not to create the impression of begging for marriage. Where we come from, it is the man who approaches the lady’s family to plead to be allowed to marry into the family.

Prior to this phone call from Dr Adeleke, Sophie had narrated to me how on the 11th July, 2015, she was tricked to Davido’s sister, Coco Adeleke’s house with her baby, Imade Aurora Adeleke. After getting to the house on Baderinwa Alabi Street, Lekki Phase I, Lagos, her baby was forcefully taken from her and she was thrown out of the premises with the threat that she would be decisively dealt with if she ever bothered to return there. There were armed policemen in the premises and to avoid what could have been a messy encounter, instinct prevailed on her to make her leave her breast suckling baby behind, with so much pain in her heart.

By daybreak on the next day, Sophie was again at Coco Adeleke’s house to take her baby, but she was prevented by armed policemen from gaining access into the house. She was again threatened and warned never to return for the child.

Despite the pain and trauma my cousin was made to undergo, I restrained myself from getting directly involved in the matter and appealed to her to stay calm and take it easy with the Adelekes.

 

Deji Adeleke with baby Imade
Deji Adeleke with baby Imade

But after the phone call from Dr Adeleke, precisely on September 10, 2015, I picked up Sophie and her mum and drove to Dr Adeleke’s home in Lekki, Lagos. All through this time, I had waited patiently to meet Dr Adeleke with questions probing for answers.

Dr Adeleke invited two of his close friends to the meeting namely His Majesty OBA ADEDOKUN ABOLARIN and Mr Wale Adeeyo. We went into lengthy discussions. His daughter Coco had brought in the little baby and both attended the meeting.

Dr Adeleke explained why it took some time to call me and I said I understood.

Dr Adeleke said the baby was discovered to have traces of marijuana in her during medical test and said he believed Sophie and David were smokers and he needed to protect the child from two irresponsible parents, as he described them. He told the gathering that the baby would be under temporary custody and observation. He directed that Sophie would come to his house every Sunday to see her baby. Our family agreed. He promised to pay Sophie a monthly upkeep. We thanked him for his kindness. He promised to buy her a car. We were grateful for his generosity. We had dinner with him and left. David was not present.

Sophie said she got the monthly upkeep but never got the car and that she prefers to have her baby back and the Adelekes can keep their money.

I called Dr Adeleke and he said I should allay her fears. I pleaded again for patience. I was shocked when Sophie called me desperately and said her daughter was being taken to Dubai by Coco. I immediately called Coco and she said she was taking the baby for intensive medicals and I wondered how she would pass through the airport without the consent of Sophie but she actually did and even sent me pictures from Dubai. I played it cool and encouraged Sophie to calm down.

Sophie became withdrawn and extremely saddened. The situation went from bad to worse. She and David became aggressive enemies. At a point, David sent messages to Sophie and using the ‘f’ word against me. His father was shocked and called him to apologise which he did and I accepted and even told him how much I love him.

Oba Dokun Abolarin with baby Imade
Oba Dokun Abolarin with baby Imade

The worst came when my wife came from London and went with Sophie to check on the baby at Coco’s house and they were literally walked out and told they were not welcome in her house. My wife called and I called Dr Adeleke who said they should go to his house and wait for him.

Their meeting did not go well because my wife asked when the baby would be returned to her mum and Dr Adeleke went into the same old story of marijuana abuse and Sophie said she was ready for a test which Dr Adeleke wasn’t interested in. Dr Adeleke explained why the car had not been bought and my wife told him the baby was the issue and not the car. Dr Adeleke didn’t like the sound of this but it was reaching a point that some truth needed to be told that a baby cannot be bought with money.

I flew to Nigeria on December 28, 2015 after Sophie told me the Adelekes were travelling to Dubai with her baby without her consent again. As soon as I landed I called Uncle Wale Adeeyo, a close confidant of Dr Adeleke and expressed our displeasure at the way Sophie was being treated and he promised to speak to Dr Adeleke. When he came back to me he didn’t sound too positive. We spoke several times and nothing tangible came out of his supposed intervention.

Davido, Baby Mama, Sophia Momodu In Messy Child Custody Battle

How Davido, Father, Deji Adeleke and Sister, Ashley Coco Were Stopped From Smuggling 7-month-old Baby To Dubai

imageSon of billionaire businessman and top Artiste, David Adeleke popularly called Davido is embroiled in a fierce battle with the mother of his baby daughter, Sophia Ajibola Momodu-and now family members have been dragged into the messy affair
The matter which has been a hush hush affair for the past six months reached a new height yesterday when the Adeleke family allegedly attempted to smuggle the little baby, Aurora Imade Adeleke to America via Dubai on an Emirates Airlines flight.We have it on good authority that Davido’s baby mama has been going through torrid times in the hands of the Adelekes-and has not been made to see her daughter since July 2015, when the baby was just two months old! The tiny tot was seized by Davido’s half sister, Ashley Coco Adeleke with the full knowledge and support of other family members
Our sources revealed that yesterday, Davido’s dad and half sister, Ashley Coco Adeleke came to the Murtala Muhammed Airport with Baby Imade. The artiste too was at the airport maybe to also use his star power as cover for the operation that was in the offing. As it is the usual procedure, the Immigration officials had allegedly asked who was the mother of the child, Miss Coco Adeleke reportedly claimed she was and actually was the one that presented her United States Passport and the baby’s Nigerian passport to the officials.
Sophia who is the niece of Popular Journalist and Publisher, Dele Momodu had got wind of the intenmtion of the Adelekes and they too stormed the airport, they it was, who blew the lid off the attempt to sneak the baby out of town.

 

Davido being consoled at the airport
Davido being consoled at the airport

It was based on the intervention of the Momodus that the passports of Miss Coco Ashley Adeleke and the baby were impounded by an immigration officer whose name was given as Mrs. Modupe Mofikoya. All attempts to intimidate the Immigration Officer failed as she stood her grounds not even the arrival of Davido and his dad, who all along was waiting in a van in the Departure Area moved her. She insisted that what the Adelekes attempted was child trafficking and ensured that they did not board the flight. The matter was taken from the Airline Counter to an inner office.
Today however, the battle has moved to the social media as Davido took to Instagram to abuse his baby mama and her family while attempting to curry public sympathies. In a series of posts, he stated “In 2015, May, I became a father of a love-child”, the artiste began filled with lamentations ” DNA testing determined with maximum proof that I indeed was the father of my daughter delivered by a head-butting casual lover, Miss Sophia Momodu.
I met Sophia, when I was barely 21 years old. she was many years older than me and was able to manipulate and exploit my youth, naivety and generosity. Sophia is the mother of my daughter, and no more!she never will be my wife and she was never qualified for that status. her background is dissimilar to mine and she has paltry education and equally diminished physical attributes. Cunningly she moved into my house because she claimed she has no place to stay in lagos and that her father is late and her mother is resident in Abuja.

I rented an apartment for his niece who is not my wife and I duly pay monthly charges. What has Uncle Dele Momodu done for my daughter or even his niece? Momodu family also wants me to buy a car for woman who is not my wife and also an habitual and ceaseless night crawler who is unable and unwilling to mother or even bathe her own child.

 

Davido at the airport
Davido at the airport

I have accepted what providence brought my way including my own personal indiscretions. but I also have been burdened by the grave lapses in character of sophia and have thus suffered for my daughter who I love so much as my late mother, Imade.
On a routine hospital check my daughter was found to be infested with massive dosage of o poisonous cannabis that she contracted from breast feeding regime oh her mother’s breast. Already Imade has special needs and has been treated at the American hospital, Dubai with all medical costs and expenses drawn off my personal purse ever since Imade was born.
As for the person of Sophia I paid two year rent for her apartment in Lekki and she receives a monthly allowance of 300,000 ever since Imade was born. This December Sophia received n500,000 as her allowance and Christmas bonus.

On December 29, Imade was supposed to travel once more to Dubai for further medical care. A family vacation was attached to this medical trip. but our family plan was truncated by sophia, her uncle Dele Momodu in the company of his wife and all these persons were the significant accessory to the Lagos Airport debacle
It is this incidence of December 29 that made it implicitly necessary to bring my family matter to public domain, I agree both parents have to give simultaneous approval to travel plans of an infant , but I do not intend for Sophia to join me on this trip.
As for me, I feel bad that my dad who had boarded and was already issued a boarding pass but was forced to elect not to travel anymore because his daughter and grand-daughter were prevented from traveling on December 29 by the Momodus.

Sophia Momodu
Sophia Momodu

The passports of my daughter and sister were impounded for no just cause. The airline has refused to give a refund because my dad was allocated a seat and boarding pass. Calmly he lost one and half million naira for his first class ticket. What is the loss to uncle Dele Momodu in this matter. But more precisely what is his gain? but you know who the real losers are.
Our lawyers re looking into the books digging for legal recompense, the authority used by Dele Momodu is the callous enforcement of corrupt practices in the conduct of ordinary domestic issue . uncle Dele Momodu has boasted of possessing certain things he knows about me and my family i dare him to publish or perish whatever he has in his pouch, globally!

 

Full Text of The Letter of Petition

The Director General
National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons
No. 2028 Delaba Street
Wuse Zone 5
FCT, Abuja

Dear Madam,

PETITION AGAINST MISS ASHLEY COCO ADELEKE & MR ADEDEJI ADELEKE FOR ATTEMPTED CHILD TRAFFICKING AND ABDUCTION OF MISS AURORA IMADE ADELEKE

We act as Solicitors for Miss. Sophia Ajibola Momodu, (hereinafter referred to as our client) whose instructions we have to forward this petition to your esteemed Agency.

Our client, a 27 year old, is the biological mother of a baby girl with name, Aurora Imade Adeleke, who was born on the 14th day of May 2015. The baby’s father is Mr. David Adedeji Adeleke (aka Davido). The father and mother are unmarried.

On the 11th July, 2015, our client was tricked to visit the house of Mr. David Adedeji Adeleke’s half sister – Miss Ashley Coco Adeleke’s with her baby, Imade Aurora Adeleke. After getting to the house on Baderinwa Alabi Street, Lekki Phase I, Lagos, our client’s baby was forcefully taken from her and she was thrown out of the premises with the threat that she would be decisively dealt with if she ever bothered to return there. There were armed policemen in the premises and our client’s survival instinct prevailed on her to make her leave her breast suckling baby behind, with so much pain in her heart.

By daybreak on the next day, our client was again at Ashley Coco Adeleke’s house to take her baby, but she was prevented by armed policemen from gaining access into the house. She was again threatened and warned never to return for the child.

Since July 2015, our client, who has now become so disorientated, saddened and confused has been going to family members, including her cousin, Mr Dele Momodu, and other well meaning Nigerians to intervene and allow her get her baby back or at least allow her to be able to have access to and care for her daughter. This was frustrated by Coco Adeleke, David Adeleke and their father, Mr. Adedeji Adeleke. These people boasted to our client and all her family and friends that our client is a nonentity and of little substance in Nigeria. They also claim that they have the financial wherewithal and political and security clout to deal with her and her family anyhow and without any consequence with the aid of their brother and uncle, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, and other friends Mr Deji Adeleke purportedly has in government. In a bid to justify their actions, Mr Deji Adeleke and his daughter, Ashley Coco Adeleke, have been spreading several malicious and unfounded allegations about our client.

While the attempts at finding a peaceful and lasting solution were still ongoing, on Tuesday the 29th December 2015, Ashley Coco Adeleke and her father, Mr Deji Adeleke, tried to travel to Dubai with our client’s baby. The baby was meant to be flown out of the country with Nigerian and American passports. Prior to that date, our client and her cousin, Mr Dele Momodu, had gone to alert the immigration services at the Murtala Mohammed, Ikeja International airport of the likelihood of Ashley Coco Adeleke travelling with our client’s baby by pretending to be the Mother. Our client believes that her baby’s American passport was hidden and is now likely to be in possession of Mr Deji Adeleke or Ashley Coco Adeleke. It appears that the assistance of Emirates Airline was sought as the baby’s American passport was not produced in breach of aviation regulations. Neither was a letter of authority from the mother to confirm her consent to the trip produced despite the airline being alerted.

When Mrs. Modupe Mofikoya, the immigration officer who attended to the Adeleke travelling party accosted Ashley Coco Adeleke and asked for the mother of the baby, Ashley Adeleke claimed that she was the mother. Immediately, the immigration officer on duty collected her Nigerian international passport, she quickly absconded from the scene with the baby and her father, Mr Deji Adeleke, showed up shortly afterwards to try to clear his daughter’s mess.

Our client with the help of her family members, including Mr Dele Momodu, determinedly resisted the attempt by Miss Ashley Coco Adeleke and her father, Mr Deji Adeleke, from taking Aurora Imade Adeleke from Lagos yesterday. Our client believes that the pair are trying to take the child to America and thus put her out of the reach of the biological mother.

At the moment, Miss Ashley Coco Adeleke and our client’s daughter, Aurora Imade Adeleke
are still in Lagos and two of their respective international passports are in the custody of the airport immigration services. Our client’s fear now, is that Ashley Coco may use her Nigerian passport and Aurora Imade’s American passport to travel through other Nigerian or West African airports.

We know that the actions of Mr Deji Adeleke and Miss Ashley Coco Adeleke contravene many provisions of the law. One is Section 13 of the Childs Right Law 2007 of Lagos State (as adapted from the Federal Act), which guarantees Aurora Imade Adeleke’s right to parental care and protection. That law also forbids separation of a child from her parents. Another is Section 24 of the same law, which also prohibits abduction of a child from the lawful custody of her parents. Neither Mr Deji Adeleke or Ms Ashley Coco Adeleke has any lawful right to the custody of Aurora Imade Adeleke. Even the unmarried father, Mr David Adedeji Adeleke, only has limited rights to the child and certainly not to the exclusion of our client, the natural mother as the Adeleke’s are trying to do.

We are of the sound view that your Agency is the most viable organisation that can intervene in the plight of our client and save her from the untold trauma that she is going through in the hands of Mr Deji Adeleke and Ashley Coco Adeleke, who has her own child that she keeps with her. We have advised our client about the statutory powers of your Agency to potently investigate and enforce all the provisions of the law that deal with abduction and trafficking in persons.

We urge you to use your good offices to intervene in the case of our client and protect a baby who should still be under her mother’s care from being abducted and smuggled abroad.

We thank you.

Yours faithfully,

S. O. AJAYI & CO./Gbolaga Ajayi Esq.

Cc:

1. President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR
The President and C in C of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Aso Rock Villa
FCT, Abuja

2. Mr. Yemi Osibajo GCON (SAN)
The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Aso Rock Villa
FCT, Abuja

3. Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode
The Executive Governor of Lagos State
Lagos State Secretariat
Alausa, Lagos

4. The Head
National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons
Lagos Zonal Command
No. 165 Oba Ladejobi Street
G.R.A. Ikeja
Lagos

5. The Station Manager
Emirate Airline
MMIA Office, Ikeja, Lagos

6. The Comptroller of Immigration Services
Murtala Mohammed International Airport,
Ikeja, Lagos

7. The Managing Director
FAAN
MMIM, Ikeja
Lagos

8. The Director
Department of State Security
Lagos State Command
Shangisha, Lagos

9. Mr. Solomon Arase
The Inspector General of Police
Loiu[truncated by WhatsApp]

MTN May Lobby Federal Govt. As Payment Deadline Expires Today

…NCC awaits court rulings

NCCAS the deadline given to MTN Nigeria to pay the N1.04 trillion ($5.2 billion) fine, later slashed to $3.4 billion (N780 billion) expires today, the telecommunications firm has expressed its position to continue to lobby the Federal Government, hopefully for a further reduction, notwithstanding that the matter is in court.

A competent source, who is very close to the MTN’s management, disclosed this to The Guardian, yesterday. The source disclosed that should the telecommunications firm fail to get a favourable hearing from the court, it would continue to lobby the Federal Government for further reduction of the fine.

According to him, no deadline should be considered sacrosanct, but amenable, based on negotiations. The source said that before the court option came up, the firm had started looking for means of paying the fine including getting loans from some Nigerian banks to finance it.

But a senior official of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in a telephone interview with The Guardian yesterday, said the commission would await a court ruling on the matter, stressing that it was difficult to comment on judicial matters.

MTN was fined in October for flouting the NCC’s directive to deactivate 5.1 million pre-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards from its network. Subsequently, the firm was asked to pay N200, 000 for each of the defective SIMs, which were on the network, according to NCC’s regulations guiding SIM registration in the country.

The fine was the highest in the history of the telecommunications sector globally and subsequently led to an immediate 22 per cent fall in the MTN Group’s shares listed at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

The telecommunications firm, which admitted in a letter addressed to the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta (then Acting), dated November 2 and signed by both the Chairman, Dr. Pascal Dozie and the former Nigerian Chief Executive Officer, Michael Ikpoki (before he resigned), had tendered an unreserved apology to the commission and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

It continued to engage the Nigerian authorities through its Executive Chairman, Phutuma Nhleko, who took over from the former Group Chief Executive Officer, Sifiso Dabengwa (who was forced to resign). The telecommunications firm was able to get a 25 per cent cut from the fine.

But in a sudden change of heart earlier in the month, the telecommunications firm, apparently after due consultation and not satisfied with the 25 per cent cut on the fine, approved by the Federal Government, decided to take the case to the court of law. The case is currently with the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Going by the pattern of court cases in Nigeria, which could last for years, MTN has been able to buy an ample time for itself on the case.

Already, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has said that nobody wants MTN or any multinational companies to collapse. Shittu said the Federal Government would await the determination of the court before any further action on the matter could be disclosed.

In a related development, the NCC, on Tuesday urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to dismiss or decline hearing the suit filed by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited to challenge the fine imposed on it by the commission.
MTN had urged the court to determine whether NCC could act pursuant to Section 70 of the NCC Act to impose a fine on it without breaching the provisions of sections 1 (3), 4 and 6 of the 1999 Constitution.

MTN hired the services of seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), led by Chief Wole Olanipekun. Others are Tanimola Molajo, A.B. Mahmoud, Dr. Gbolahan Elias, Oladipo Okpeseyi, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu and Dr. Oladapo Olanipekun.

The telecommunications firm claimed that NCC violated its (MTN) fundamental right to fair hearing, adding that by imposing the fine, NCC was already usurping “the exclusive legislative powers of the National Assembly, as well as the judicial powers of the courts established under the constitution.”

But in a motion on notice filed through its lawyers, Ahmed Raji (SAN), and Mahmud Magaji (SAN), NCC asked the court to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction or send it to Abuja.
The commission argued that the suit was wrongly filed in Lagos, noting that the subject of the dispute took place in Abuja, while the two respondents in the suit, NCC and the Attorney General of the Federation, were also based in Abuja.

NCC urged the court to void the service of court processes on it, arguing that the commission failed to comply with Section 143 of the NCC Act in serving the processes. It asked the court to either dismiss the suit or transfer it to the Abuja division of the court.

MTN in its suit, which has yet to be heard, is contending that it was not afforded enough time to comply with the NCC directive, adding that the commission did not also give it fair hearing before hurriedly announcing the sanction.

 

Aretha Franklin Brings President Obama To Tears With Moving Rendition of ‘A Natural Woman’

image
…..Not a dry eye in the house!
She is a consummate professional who knows how to put on an amazing performance.
And Aretha Franklin even managed to make President Obama cry when she belted out her classic ‘A Natural Woman.’
The 73-year-old singer was making an appearance at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C – the ceremony aired on Tuesday
She’s got soul! Aretha Franklin brought one of the world’s most important people to tears when she sang at The Kennedy Center Honors – the ceremony took place on Dec 6 but was aired on Tuesday
Her emotional performance saw the President appear to shed a tear – he was seen wiping his eye as she belted out the classic.
She sang ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ in tribute to singer and songwriter, Carole King, one of the evening’s recipients.
She’s got soul! Aretha Franklin brought one of the world’s most important people to tears when she sang at The Kennedy Center Honors – the ceremony took place on Dec 6 but was aired on Tuesday
Her emotional performance saw the President appear to shed a tear – he was seen wiping his eye as she belted out the classic.

imageMeanwhile his wife Michelle looked enthralled as she listened to the music.

Carole and many of the other guests were beside themselves when they saw Aretha take to the stage.
Aretha wore a full length fur coat and as she took to the stage, placed her clutch purse on the piano as she prepared to perform.
As the Queen of Soul sat down, Carole gasped in shock and surprise, and the whole audience erupted, many smiling with delight.
George Lucas, Rosie Perez and Gina Rodriguez who were also at the event, were clearly enjoying the show.
Carole could be seen clutching at her chest in amazement, on the verge of tears at having the musical icon sing the tribute.
She was truly stunned and looked beside herself at the honour, smiling and singing along, beaming with happiness.

imageThe camera caught The President and First Lady singing along.
As Aretha prepared for the finale she stood up and took off her full length fur, ready to sing the high notes.
She brought the house down, the audience standing to their feet, and was almost drowned out by the cheers and screams of appreciation.
The icon’s next performance is on January 1 at at The Mohegan Sun Arena, in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Memorable Quotes From Buhari’s Maiden Presidential Media Chat

imagePresident Muhammadu Buhari held his first Presidential Media Chat on Wednesday fielding questions about some of the key issues in the country from the whereabouts of the Chibok girls, the Nigerian Army-Shiites clash and pressure to devalue the naira.

Here are some key comments by the President:
On the clash between Shi’ites and the Nigerian Army in Zaria and his silence

i. I have allowed the army and the Kaduna State government to come up with their reports before I come out to speak on the clash. This does not mean that the police and the DSS are not doing their part.

ii. The situation in Zaria is very serious… How can one group create a state within a state?

On the state of tertiary institutions

I don’t like the idea of University students sitting on windows to receive lectures.

On whether he actually promised to pay unemployed youths N5,000

I cannot come here and deny that.

Foreign exchange restrictions

I. We need power, railways, roads… These are our priorities; not people looking for money to bring in rice (to the country).

II.Foreign exchange will be made available to the productive sector of the economy and not for luxury items.

On calls for the devaluation of the naira

I need to be convinced about devaluing the naira.

On asset declaration

I declared my assets four times… I don’t have to ask them (Code of Conduct Bureau) to give you the asset declaration… You have a constitutional right to the documents.

imageOn the continued bomb attacks in parts of the North-East

I. The Hijab will have to be banned if this (the suicide bombing) continues.

On the debate about fuel subsidy

By the end of the next quarter, we will not be talking about subsidy. How much is the price of

fuel (in the international market) now?

Reported plans by the National Assembly to spend billions on cars

I cannot see the National Assembly spending N45bn to buy cars on top of the transport allowance they collect.

On the pace of the anti-corruption war

I. Our major constraint is that accused person must go to court first and under such circumstances, we cannot prejudge what the courts will do but there are documents and how the government will react through the Ministry of Justice will determine what we will do because what we are going so we cannot determine issues while they are still in court.

II. If any member of my cabinet is corrupt, I will sack the person.

III. Members of the cabinet are supposed to declare their assets.

On whether funds have been recovered from looters

I. Money has been recovered but the fact that whatever we recover will end up in court because Nigerians will always want to know the truth and the truth will be what the courts have discovered by the submission made to them in terms of bank statements where money was recovered, where money was lodged, when it was lodged, how it was lodged whether it was money from petrol, customs and excise or money directly from the Central Bank. When we do that I think Nigerians will feel a bit better.

II. It is a very nasty situation that we are in, but we cannot fold our hands and not do anything; we are doing our best.

Chibok girls

imageWe are keeping our options open. We are prepared to negotiate with Boko Haram for the girls… There is no firm intelligence where those girls physically are and what conditions they are in but what we learnt from our intelligence is that they (terrorists) kept on shifting them around so that they are not taken by surprise and they get freed. And a whole lot of them are not in one place and we don’t know how many divisions they have and where they are. There is no intelligence to say that the girls are alive and in one place. That is the honest truth.

On the agitation for Biafra over alleged marginalisation

We have Boko Haram and then Biafra. Help me define the extent of marginalisation. Who is marginalising them? Why? How? Do you know? … The constitution said there must be a minister from each state. Who is the Minister of Petroleum? Is he not Igbo? Who is the Governor of Central Bank? Is he not Igbo? Who is the Minister of Labour? Who is the Minister of Science and Technology? Who is the junior minister of education?

On the continued detention of suspected looters and alleged violation of court orders by the DSS

You can see the type atrocities that those people committed against soldiers and the country. The former president goes to the governor of the Central Bank and say, ‘give N40bn to so, so, so… And then he fails to account for it and you allow him to go and see his daughter in London while and you have two million people in IDPs, half of them don’t even know their parents. Which kind of country do you want to run?

And the one you are calling Kanu. Do you know he has two passports – one Nigerian, one British – and he came to this country without any passport?… There are criminal allegations against him and I hope the court will listen to the case.

EDITORIAL: The Historic Election For Saudi Women

 

Nassima al-Sadah, a candidate for municipal councils in the Gulf coast city of Qatif, posing for a picture at her office in Qatif 400 kilometers east of the Saudi capital, Riyadh. (AFP)
Nassima al-Sadah, a candidate for municipal councils in the Gulf coast city of Qatif, posing for a picture at her office in Qatif 400 kilometers east of the Saudi capital, Riyadh. (AFP)

THE municipal election, the other day in Saudi Arabia represents a commendable milestone in the history of the country, especially the women’s struggles to have access and presence in a theocratic society. The event, which for the first time featured women voting and being voted for, is also a marked positive for advocates of gender equality, but more importantly, for recognition of women’s rights and ability to contribute to national and international development. Not only should the Saudi authorities deepen the first ever phenomenon, they should serve to encourage countries reluctant or unwilling to acknowledge women as vital participants in nation building.

The wave of democratisation sweeping across the world, especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s has been slow but steady. But the fortune of democracy has been so lucky in some regions of the world especially in the Arab world which seems to present a wall of cultural relativism, liberal democracy being read as entirely as a Western project compacted in the so-called liberal internationalism.

This seeks to expound the ambits of western influence on a global basis. Saudi Arabia, the spiritual headquarters of the Moslem world, typifies the resistance to Western cultural foray in the name of democracy. Nevertheless, the quest by a people all over the world to be heard and have a say in the affairs of their country knows no religious bars; and the Saudi monarch appears to be sensitive to this dynamic. Obviously, being in control of the processes leading to women activism in government is less risky than allowing the Arab spring type of implosion.

On December 12, the Saudi people were given the opportunity to elect officials of the municipal councils. In the historic election, women, almost at the receiving end of rigid religious restrictions, exercised their franchise for the first time. They stood not only for elections but also voted. More than 900 women ran for a place in the 2,100 seats in about 284 councils in which about 6,000 men competed for the same positions. While about 130,000 women had registered to vote, the men’s tally was put at 1.35 million. All said and done, about 18 women were elected into seats that spread across cities like Jeddah, Tabuk, Ahsaa and Qatif.

There were views that this conservative figure would have been upped but for some bureaucratic obstacles such as difficulties proving identity and residency and a limited number of registration centres. Also, female candidates were barred from speaking to male voters and were required to separate campaign offices. However, this has been hailed as a victory for women’s long struggle for suffrage. It is to be noted that the councils’ powers are restricted to local affairs including responsibility for streets, public gardens and refuse collection.

Notwithstanding its limitations, the election is a clear watershed for women’s struggles for fair and impartial treatment in a society dogged by Islamic religion, which incidentally does not seek to undermine the female gender. At least, Saudi women have been able to perform their human and democratic rights of expressing their political preference and desire as they cast their votes for the first time. Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director for Human Rights Watch described the move to allow women to vote as a step forward for equality in the male-dominated kingdom and forward march toward greater participation in public life.

This electoral dawn is the culmination of incremental policy on women empowerment by the late Saudi Monarch, King Abdullah. The proposition to grant women some franchise was broached in 2005 and was followed up by a decree in 2011 by the King to the effect that women are allowed to vote in municipal elections and stand as candidates. In 2013, he also moved to allow about 20 per cent of seats in the Consultative Council (Shura) that advises the King and proposes law, to be filled with women. Subsequently, about 30 women were appointed to the council. Besides, women have begun to access public positions, outside of political domain. Women are allowed to hold positions on boards of chambers of commerce. In 2008, two women were elected to the board of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, academia and cabinet-level position. Government sources puts the number of women in the Saudi workforce at about 400, 000; a substantial increase over the 2004 figure put at 23,000.

The first municipal elections in Saudi Arabia took place in the mid-20s in the Hijaz cities of Mecca, Medina, Jeddah, Yanbu and Taif, when local governments were established to replace Ottoman and Hashemite rule. Municipal elections were held in 1954, 1962, 2005 and 2011 respectively. Notably, in none of these were women allowed to vote or stand for office.

Importantly, there are those who see this development of women voting and running in the election as another phase towards Westernisation. But the real point is that, enfranchising women, as the Saudi authorities did, is nothing but a strategic response to global development. Countries around Saudi Arabia have given roles to women and have somewhat liberalised their political processes. Countries like Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar are examples in this regard. Qatar women even fly combat aircraft. Indeed, it is a welcome development that conservative Saudi is adapting. This election and the effectuation of women’s franchise testify to it. Need it be said that the new global order is one which is privileging women professionals.

 

Source: The Guardian

An Open Letter To Femi Fani-Kayode, By Susan Henshaw

imagePlease take time off to sanitize your image, reputation, and widely held doubts about your sanity and lack of veracity for truthfulness, before you write anything to anyone.

You raised issues about arms purchase and the war on terror. Did you really learn anything from that high end Law school you claim you attended in the UK? We from Uniben Law seem to be thinking more suitably. Your timing is befuddling. Imagine bringing up the matter about your government and arms “purchase” smack in the middle of a huge arms purchase scandal, where your hatchet man has admitted he actually did share our arms money to you and other members of your party.
Let us even cut to the chase here, your party’s style of delving into the irrelevant is played out. PLEASE WHERE ARE THE ARMS YOUR GOVERNMENT PURCHASED? That as far as I am concerned is the CRUX of the matter, per Dasuki’s admission, our 2.1 billion dollars was used for an election you lost (colossally.) Ask yourself, WHY did your chief of army staff Badeh tell the world the army did poorly in the war because they were poorly armed? Why were soldiers telling BBC interviewers they were sent out with 60 bullets each, while Boko Haram had unlimited supplies? Why was there no air cover for soldiers when they needed it? Why did we pay for 12 military helicopters and they were never delivered to the army. Why was there mutiny in the ranks? PERHAPS BECAUSE ARMS WERE NOT PURCHASED, BY CHECK, CREDIT CARD, CASH, OR BY TRADE BY BATTER. The cash purchase the president was referring to was probably your undercover deal in South Africa. Which as a result of your characteristic incompetence was botched. FACTS dear Monsieur Cocaine FACTS. No one is interested in your he said, she said rhetoric.

You claim the only place Boko Haram remained when you left was the Sambisa forest. As factually incorrect as that is, let me ask…WHAT WHERE THEY DOING THERE. Is Sambisa not Nigerian territory still? Your ignorance is self evident. Be reminded that YOU HAD 6 YEARS TO WIPE THEM OUT, not drive them to Sambisa forest. Further more…who was the government of this nation on May 15, because I recall that the Boko Haram you claim you banished, mummified or bound in the Sambisa forest recaptured the border town of Marte in Borno. We understand that yours was never a government that did anything thoroughly or well, other than mouthing off, but SHAME ON YOU TO CLAIM YOU CONTAINED BOKO HARAM, by them retreating to the forest to regroup and stock up. The first and ONLY time the army has taken the fight to Boko Haram stronghold has been under this administration. You list the dates of Boko Haram attacks but fail to add that in all those instances, the military kicked their asses…as a good military should. Is it not true that 99 percent of deaths from Boko Haram since May 29th have been by suicide bombers, and not loss in battle as was during your government, when we were loosing entire villages in addition to suicide attacks?

Sometimes the messenger is so contemptible that the message is lost in the equation. This is not even that situation. Here we have a contemptible messenger with no message but attention-seeking rhetoric. I hope I never see the day when this government acknowledges, not to mention responds to people like Femi Fani Kayode, who are desperately seeking relevance. I have read so many responses to your childish letter by ordinary citizens who love this country, that in my estimation is all the response you should get. The time for drug infested-food-is-ready politicians is over. Until PDP moves people like you, who have nothing to offer this nation to the background and makes a good effort to clean up, it will remain in redundancy, a laughing stock, and the butt of every body’s jokes.

FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, CHANGE IS HERE.

Lagos Govt. Warns Residents On Fire Outbreaks

The Lagos State Fire Service has decried the incessant fire outbreaks in the state, noting that it had become an issue of crucial concern to the government.
The Director of the Fire Service, Mr. Rasak Fadipe, gave the warning yesterday after visiting scenes of recent fire outbreaks in the state. He said six corpses were recently retrieved from fire scenes while 15 persons were rescued alive from such incidents.
According to him, the state Fire Service responded to 257 fire emergency calls within the month, while 14 emergency calls to the firemen were found to be false.
He condemned those whom he said were fond of making false calls to the service, while appealing to those concerned to desist from such act.

 

Tough Cookie: Empire Star, Taraji P. Henson Named Entertainer of The Year

imageLast Christmas, life “was kind of normal still,” says Taraji P. Henson, 45, who has held a long, respected career spanning TV shows like Person of Interest and Boston Legal and films including Hustle & Flow and her Oscar-nominated role in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

But that was before the soapy hip-hop drama Empirepremiered on Fox in January to killer ratings, and Henson’s take-no-prisoners matriarch, Cookie Lyon, ran off with the show — in part thanks to her epic one-liners (“The name is Cookie — ask about me”). “Like, I could still go to Target and the grocery store without being harassed. It’s different now,” she says with a laugh. “I can’t really go anywhere.”

Now halfway through Season 2, Henson has crafted one of the most memorable, quotable characters to grace television in years. Empire has earned Henson Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, not to mention grin-inducing Cookie merchandise and memes. There are devotees who dress boldly like Cookie and blog about it. Timemagazine declared Cookie Lyon the most influential character of 2015.

“Life has changed for me dramatically,” says Henson, who hosted Saturday Night Livein April. “Who thought Cookie would bring me this kind of notoriety? This is the type of character that people judge — she went to jail she sold drugs. But what happens? (People) run to her? Blows me away every time. That goes to show people like real.”

Fans have fallen for Henson — maybe a little too much. The actress recently put her Hollywood Hills house on the market because it’s too exposed. “You shouldn’t just be able to walk up to my door,” she says. “The fact that I’m that vulnerable is not safe. It just isn’t. And I have to start thinking like that. So it’s up for sale.”

But oh, are there upsides to being Cookie.

“Upsides? I don’t wait in line for anything anymore. Upside, now that I’m rich, people like to send me things for free. I don’t understand that, but OK, I’ll take it.” She grins. “I love getting free gifts.”

There’s some shared DNA between Henson and Cookie, a character who spent 17 years in prison before returning to reclaim half of her husband Lucious’ (Terrence Howard) record label: They’re both the most candid woman in the room. “That’s why Cookie is a hit,” she says. “She says the things that people are afraid to do and say.”

In Season 2, Cookie’s business savvy expanded, her sexy wardrobe become more refined, her relationships with her estranged sons grew, and her new love interest, Laz, flamed out.

The biggest lesson the show learned this year? Guest stars (and there were a lot of them in Season 2) can overload a good thing.

“We don’t need outside cast,” she says, adding that when the show returns March 30, it will refocus on Empire’s core characters. “It’s nice every now and then; that’s what made the first season work. You always learn.”

Henson is itching for Empire to explore Cookie’s back story, particularly her jail time. “Seventeen years and to still come out with your sanity, you didn’t lose yourself, that’s a strong — what planet is she from? I want to know more about that. I want to get in the cell with her and those moments she was lonely and no one came to visit. Like, I want to see that. We talk about it, but it would be good to see it in the flashback.”

Movie projects (earmarked for Henson’s summer hiatus) are calling her name. Vacation? “What is that?” she says. Instead, Henson is beginning to flex her muscle as a producer, having just helmed a holiday variety show for Fox. “I’m trying to capitalize on the success and get more business,” she says. “I’m looking to create more opportunities for other young artists coming up behind me, because I can’t do this forever.”

She laughs. “I want to at least enjoy all this money I’m making at some point!”