The Federal Road Safety Corps says it will clamp down on alcohol sellers at motor parks in a bid to reduce drunk driving by commercial drivers. Olusegun Aladenika, the Ore Unit Commander of the Corps, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Ore, Ondo State, that the measure was to save more lives and property on the highways. Aladenika appealed to the chairmen of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to help wage war against alcohol sellers at their motor parks in order to check the excesses of drunk-driving drivers. According to him, the FRSC on several occasions, has sensitised motorists to the menace, which is responsible for several crashes on the highways.
“Although most of these alcohol sellers are not found in all Ore motor parks, some of them are still in other parks under our jurisdiction.
“The presence of these alcohol sellers attracts drivers and after taking some shots, they become dangerous in driving which later results to crashes, loss of lives and property. “We are appealing to the NURTW chairmen in other parks to do the needful and send away all these alcohol sellers in their parks before we begin to enforce the clampdown,” Aladenika said. He, however, warned drivers who engage in drunk driving to desist saying that the FRSC would not spare any erring drivers. He added that obedience to traffic rules and regulations as well as the safety of lives and property would remain the corps’ utmost priority.
There was a spectacular drama inside the courtroom of Ikeja High Court Wednesday night when Mr. Francis Atuche, a former Managing Director of defunct Bank PHB, begged Justice Lateefa Okunnu not to send him to prison following his conviction for defrauding the bank of N25.7 billion. Atuche and Ugo Anyanwu, a former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the bank, were both found guilty of 22 of the 27-count of conspiracy and stealing charge proffered against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2011. However, the trial judge, Okunnu found Atuche’s wife, Elizabeth, who faced trial alongside the duo; not guilty of two counts of conspiracy and stealing brought against her. Atuche and Anyanwu were sentenced at night following a very lengthy judgment spanning 12 hours. After convicting Atuche and Anyanwu at 8:18p.m., the judge asked if they had any plea to make. They answered in the affirmative. Addressing the court, Atuche prayed Justice Okunnu to temper justice with mercy and begged her not to send him to jail. “All the time I was the MD of Bank PHB, I gave my all to the bank. Never at any material time did it occur to me that I would set up a scheme to defraud the bank,” Atuche said.
He added; “I plead for mercy, leniency, your kindness…I plead that out of your kindness and generosity, you will not allow me to go to jail. Please I am sorry and remorseful.” Atuche told the court that as a professional banker and chartered accountant; he certainly did not want to become a convict. “I pray that God will place in your heart to be kind. I plead from the bottom of my heart. I’m extremely sorry. Today will be a turning point in my life. I’m very sorry,” he begged. Counsel to Atuche, Mr Paul Nneoma, in his plea for mercy, described Atuche as a responsible family man who had never been convicted of any crime. He appealed to the court to give Atuche a fine instead of incarceration in order to preserve his professional career. Also pleading, Anyanwu told the court that he was the only son of a police officer; adding that his father died when he was barely a year old. He said that he grew up on the premise of hard work. “What I achieved in the banking industry is by stint of hard work. I have suffered in the last 10 years of this trial. I am sorry if I was appearing cocky in the witness box during my examination-in-chief.
“And I have two kids who are barely teenagers. They look up to their father and I wonder what kind of impact this will have on them. Please temper justice with mercy,” Anyanwu prayed. Anyanwu’s counsel, Mr Silva Ogwemoh (SAN), also begged for mercy on his client. He said that one of Anyanwu’s children had a medical condition requiring special attention. He added that Anyanwu was hypertensive; urging that the court should take judicial notice of the COVID-19 pandemic and impose a fine on him instead of custodial sentence. Reacting to the pleas of the defendants, the EFCC team led by Mr Kemi Pinheiro (SAN); requested for a stiff sentence as well as an order of restitution against the convicts. He said that Lagos State Government spent much funds and resources prosecuting the case in the past 10 years. “We were taken to the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court several times by the defendants. During the trial, they were rude and cocky. That is not remorse. The third defendant (Anyanwu) decided to hold unto his loyalty to his boss (Atuche) against his loyalty to the state. We pray the court imposes the maximum sentence and orders restitution,” Pinheiro said. Justice Okunnu eventually sentenced Atuche to six years’ jail term and gave Anyanwu four years’ imprisonment. She equally made an order for restitution. The judge said Atuche abused his position of trust by stealing from the bank. “By stealing from the bank, they stole from innocent customers of the bank. I hereby make an order of restitution against the first and third defendants to refund the sums stated in counts one to 11, 14 and 24. The sums are to paid to the relevant agencies that recovered the funds on behalf of the bank,” she ordered.
An Ikeja High Court has sentenced a former Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB Plc, Francis Atuche to 12 years imprisonment and former Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Ugo Anyanwu to 10 years, for stealing and conspiracy to steal N27billion.
But Justice Lateefat Okunnu, before whom the defendants were tried, discharged and acquitted Atuche’s wife Elizabeth.
In sentencing the duo, the judge upheld the arguments of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Kemi Pinheiro, who prosecuted the case on behalf of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC with the Fiat of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF). Pinheiro had opposed Atuche’s contention that the stolen funds in dispute were loaned, not stolen. The judge agreed with him. She held that the money belonged to the bank and that it was capable of being stolen. “The 1st Defendant confirmed the bank’s ownership of the money when he said the bank in lending money makes profit “I am persuaded by the statement of Pat Utomi that ‘The bank still has control over money that’s left in its coffers, no matter who uses it’…. “Helen Eriyo, who is the account officer of Petosan, being unaware of the loans granted, lends credit to the testimony of Mr Ololo that he was not aware of the loan…. “The alter egos and true directing mind of the companies knew nothing about the loans. The loans indeed were a hoax.
“Counts 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 have been established. Now to counts 11 to 22, 24 and 26
Entrepreneurs have completed the business management training globally likened to an MBA
Lagos, June 15, 2021: The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s leading philanthropy empowering young African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, has successfully trained over 200,000 entrepreneurs in core business management skills as part of its 2021 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. The Business Management training was conducted exclusively on TEFConnect, the Foundation’s proprietary digital platform that provides capacity-building support, advisory and market linkages to over 1 Million Africans and counting.
The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme Business Management Training equips entrepreneurs with critical skills required to launch and run their businesses at the early growth stage. With a unique curriculum that encompasses topics on Starting Your Business, Business Management & Fundamentals, Leadership & Business Growth, Selecting and Building a Team, amongst others, entrepreneurs are effectively armed to achieve business growth, profitability, and sustained success. Entrepreneurs were hosted to weekly information sessions, as part of the training, to address relevant concerns and share vital programme updates. All entrepreneurs received active support from coaches and mentors who provided technical guidance, counsel and one-one interaction throughout the duration of the training programme.
The training, which is one element of the 7 pillars of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, was carried out in the official African languages including English, French, Portuguese and Arabic, and over 40 percent of trained participants were women.
Commenting on this milestone, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said “Every year, our commitment to transform Africa is further strengthened with the passion, resilience and talent of the high-calibre entrepreneurs who onboard our flagship programme. Our curricular provides a holistic opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn, grow and contribute to the development of their communities.”
The Chief Executive Officer added: “Furthermore, it is a testament to the eagerness and readiness of African entrepreneurs across all of Africa to make themselves available to transform the continent for good. I would like to commend these entrepreneurs for their discipline, dedication and hard work throughout the training and look forward to the immense impact of their businesses across diverse sectors in Africa. We remain committed to empowering African entrepreneurs with the required resources and support that will ensure that their businesses can scale and drive sustainable change on the continent”.
The TEF Entrepreneurship Training is immediately followed by a Business Plan review process for each entrepreneur. The top-performing entrepreneurs subsequently participate in the Pitching phase of the Programme after which successful entrepreneurs receive a non-returnable seed capital of US$5000 each. The leading African philanthropy also hopes to train and empower thousands more across the African continent as part of its commitment to catalyze economic growth, drive poverty eradication and ensure job creation. In 2020, the Tony Elumelu Foundation marked ten years of impact, having empowered and funded nearly 10,000 African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries as part of its US$100 million TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. The Tony Elumelu Foundation is inspired by Tony Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the long-term social and economic development of the African continent.
To learn more about the Tony Elumelu Foundation, please visit TonyElumeluFoundation.org; and to receive the Foundation’s free business training, please visit TEFConnect.com.
Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first president and one of the last of the generation of African leaders who fought colonialism, has died aged 97. Kaunda was admitted to a military hospital in the capital, Lusaka, on Monday suffering from pneumonia. His aides said he did not have Covid-19. In the 1950s, Kaunda was a key figure in what was then Northern Rhodesia’s independence movement from Britain. He became president following independence in 1964.
As head of the left-leaning United National Independence Party (UNIP), Kaunda then led the country through decades of one-party rule. He stepped down after losing multi-party elections in 1991. “I am sad to inform we have lost Mzee,” Kaunda’s son, Kambarage, wrote on his late father’s Facebook page, using a term of respect. “Let’s pray for him.” Zambian President Edgar Lungu said the country was mourning “a true African icon”. “I learnt of your passing this afternoon with great sadness,” he wrote on Facebook. “On behalf of the entire nation and on my own behalf I pray that the entire Kaunda family is comforted as we mourn our First President and true African icon.” Another tribute came from Kalusha Bwalya, former captain of the national football team, who said Kaunda had made “an immense impact”.
Kaunda – popularly known as KK – was a strong supporter of efforts to end apartheid in South Africa. He was also a leading supporter of liberation movements in Mozambique and what is now Zimbabwe. In later life Kaunda turned his attention to the fight against HIV after one of his sons, Masuzyo, died from an Aids-related disease. “We fought colonialism. We must now use the same zeal to fight Aids, which threatens to wipe out Africa,” he told Reuters in 2002.
Nigerian Ambassador to Greece, Opunimi Akinkugbe stands at attention as the Nigerian National Anthem is played by the ceremonial band, on the occasion of the presentation of her Letters of Credence to President Katerina Sakellaropoulou of the Hellenic Republic.
The novelist describes helping two writers who went on to insult her online, and condemns era of ‘angels jostling to out-angel one another’
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has written a detailed essay about the conduct of young people on social media “who are choking on sanctimony and lacking in compassion”, who she says are part of a generation “so terrified of having the wrong opinions that they have robbed themselves of the opportunity to think and to learn and to grow”.
Titled It Is Obscene, the essay was published by the Nigerian novelist and feminist on her website on Tuesday night. It attracted so much attention that her website temporarily crashed. The essay goes into her interactions with two unnamed writers who attended Adichie’s Lagos writing workshop. Both later criticised her on social media for her comments about transgender people and feminism in a 2017 Channel 4 interview, saying “a trans woman is a trans woman”. At the time, Adichie rejected the claim that she did not believe trans women were women, saying: “Of course they are women but in talking about feminism and gender and all of that, it’s important for us to acknowledge the differences in experience of gender.” Adichie was subsequently named in the author biography of the first novel by one of the writers. Quoting from emails sent at the time, Adichie’s essay recounts how she asked for her name to be removed from the book, detailing further attacks on social media and how “this person began a narrative that I had sabotaged their career”.
Last year, the non-binary transgender author Akwaeke Emezi tweeted that two days after their novel, Freshwater, was published, “[Adichie] asked that her name be removed from my bio everywhere because of my tweets online. Most were about her transphobia.” Adichie writes in her essay that she was “very supportive of this writer”, because she believed that “we need a diverse range of African stories”. “Asking that my name be removed from your biography is not sabotaging your career. It is about protecting my boundaries of what I consider acceptable in civil human behaviour,” writes the author of Half of a Yellow Sun. On Wednesday, Emezi posted a video on Instagram which partially responded to Adichie’s essay. “I am not going to read what home girl wrote and do like a blow-by-blow rebuttal of it, because I am not even going to read it. Because it doesn’t affect my life,” they said. “I am just going to poke my head in, remind us that we matter, that we are important, that our worlds are fucking bigger than anything that these people can ever imagine and that we don’t ever have to be legible to them. We don’t have to be validated by them.” The other writer mentioned by Adichie was “welcomed” into the novelist’s life, Adichie writes in her essay, but after the criticism of Adichie’s comments, she “publicly insulted” Adichie on social media. “It is a simple story – you got close to a famous person, you publicly insulted the famous person to aggrandize yourself, the famous person cut you off, you sent emails and texts that were ignored, and you then decided to go on social media to peddle falsehoods,” writes Adichie. Adichie finishes her essay with a criticism of “certain young people today like these two from my writing workshop”, describing as “obscene” their “passionate performance of virtue that is well executed in the public space of Twitter but not in the intimate space of friendship”. “We have a generation of young people on social media so terrified of having the wrong opinions that they have robbed themselves of the opportunity to think and to learn and to grow,” Adichie wrote. “I have spoken to young people who tell me they are terrified to tweet anything, that they read and reread their tweets because they fear they will be attacked by their own. The assumption of good faith is dead. What matters is not goodness but the appearance of goodness. We are no longer human beings. We are now angels jostling to out-angel one another. God help us. It is obscene.”
The 49-year-old shared a poem the rapper apparently wrote while incarcerated at Rikers Island titled “Lost Soulz.”
Jada Pinkett Smith honoured her late friend Tupac Shakur on what would’ve been his 50th birthday this week, sharing with fans a never-before-seen poem written by the rapper.
On Tuesday, the “Red Table Talk” co-host posted a video on Instagram alongside a heartfelt caption.
“Tupac Amaru Shakur would have been 50 midnight tonight!” she wrote. “As we prepare to celebrate his legacy … let’s remember him for that which we loved most … his way with words. Here are a few you may have never heard before.”
She went on to share in the video that “Pac” wrote her “many letters and many poems,” but that she didn’t think the one she released had ever been “published honestly.” She said she believed Shakur wrote the poem while incarcerated at Rikers Island in New York City.
Pinkett Smith went on to read the poem, titled “Lost Soulz,” in the video:
Some say nothing gold can last forever / And 2 believe this [I] need no proof / I have witnessed all that was pure in me / And be changed by the evil men can do / The innocence possessed by children / Once lived inside my soul / But surviving years with criminal peers / Has turned my warm heart to cold / I used 2 dream and fantasize / But now I’m scared 2 sleep / Petrified, not to live or die / But to awaken and still be me / It is true that nothing gold can last / We will all one day see death / When the purest hearts are torn apart / LOST SOULS are all that’s left / Down on my knees I beg of God / To save me from this fate / Let me live to see what was gold in me / Before it is all too late.
The poem is signed, “Yours, Tupac.”
Pinkett Smith and Shakur met as students in the ’80s while attending Baltimore School for the Arts in Maryland. In the years since his death in 1996, the actor has talked openly and candidly about her friendship (which many rumored was something more) with Shakur.
“It was the first day and he came over to me and introduced himself,” Pinkett Smith recalled in an interview. “And in high school, Pac was a little funny looking. Definitely from looking at him, wasn’t necessarily the type of cat that I would even like, deal with. But as soon as he approached me, he was like a magnet. Once you paid attention to him he kind of sucked you in. And we hit it off from that moment on … I don’t think either one of us thought we would have made it in the way that we did, but we knew we were gonna do something.”
Gospel singer, Adeyinka Alaseyori, has been in the news lately after her colleague, Tope Alabi, criticised people who refer to God as ‘Oniduro Mi’, which means ‘guarantor’.
Alaseyori, among other gospel singers, have waxed records where they referred to God as ‘Oniduro Mi’.
In a video, which has since gone viral, Alabi stated that although she was not condemning the songs, she believes God is bigger than an entity to be described as a guarantor.
However, her opinion did not sit well with many people and her comment has since sparked a debate among gospel music lovers. More so, Alabi has faced backlash online over her comment.
For days, Alaseyori, whose version of ‘Oniduro Mi’ song is most popular, had kept mum until today when she took to her Instagram account to sue for peace. In the post, the sonorous singer shared a word of prayer calling for peace as she said, “May we all come to the real knowledge of God and his power. “If you love God, please in God’s name, don’t comment otherwise. May the peace of God and the God of peace fill our hearts. May we receive grace to rise above all weakness. May the hand of God wrap and shield us all. May the power of God do the unimaginable in our lives. May the mercy of God speak forth where we have lost our voices. May the love of God return to our hearts and Altars.
“May the fresh fire of revival of the spirit not elude us. May we all come to the real knowledge of God and his power. May we receive help to remain in the secret place of the Most High. May the unity of faith be achieved in my own lifetime. May we not pray and praise amiss. May we begin to tap into new realms of glory. “May the gate of hell not prevail against the church. We receive help not to submit to the will of the flesh. All in Jesus name I pray and believe. Please share and pray along. #PeaceBeStill.” Alaseyori’s post elicited positive reactions from her fans. For instance, ace Nollywood actor, Funsho Adeolu, taking to her comment section, wrote, “It’s your time Evangelist Yinka, thread it with God. When God’s time is here, everything will work for your upliftment, even your mistakes can’t stop it.”
Netflix has announced the commencement of a three-month training programme in story writing and post-production for film and television professionals in Africa.
In a statement made available to The PUNCH, the movie streaming service platform said the training was sub-divided into a three-month training program with 12 African participants and an APost Lab post-production workshop for film and TV professionals.
It added that the three-month training programme would run in partnership with Realness Institute and would be focused on Nigeria, South-Africa and Kenya.
According to the streaming giant, the selection process for the 12 participants commenced in 2020 as over 500 applications were received from candidates across sub-Saharan Africa.
It said the 12 creatives were chosen from Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe to participate in the inaugural training, which would run until September 2021.
The statement read in part, “There’s an African humanist philosophy called ‘Ubuntu’, which broadly means, ‘I am, because you are’. This idea that ‘we are, because of others’ aptly captures the essence of Netflix’s approach to its partnership with Africa’s creative industries because, without the existence of our storytellers, our favourite Netflix stories wouldn’t be possible.
“Africa has an amazing pool of talent — both in front and behind the camera — and we are committed to investing in African stories and talent long-term. We also recognise that being part of the creative communities comes with responsibilities, in particular, the need to develop the talent pipeline and give new voices a chance to be heard.”
The streaming giant revealed that the training would be in two phases — the Episodic Lab and the Development Executive Traineeship.
It said for the Episodic Lab, writers were selected based on their story ideas and would develop the concepts alongside expert story consultants and creative producers.
The statement further revealed that writers would also undergo creative training and receive feedback from the Netflix team, adding that at the end of the lab, each writer would have an opportunity to pitch their incubated concept to Netflix to have their series further developed for production.
For the Development Executive Traineeship, Netflix said the training would bolster the technical skills of participants by partnering them with the EPL writers to develop story concepts into quality productions, which would create opportunities for them to work with national film bodies, film commissions, philanthropists, story consultants and critics.
“We want to do more to educate and empower those in the industry, and those hoping to break through. We want to be a good partner for Africa’s creative industries. We are energised and excited by the many opportunities that lie ahead for us to help strengthen the quality of African storytelling and to bring fresh voices to our members in Africa and around the world,” Netlfix said.