Showing posts from December, 2019



Banana Island Ikoyi: Fake $10,100, Ferrari, phones recovered from UK jailed fraudster

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, has arrested one Mark Obisesan, an ex-convict, for possession of suspected fake traveller’s cheque worth $10, 100.
The suspect, who had served a 12-month jail term for Internet fraud in the United Kingdom, UK, was arrested recently at his residence in Banana Island, Lagos, following intelligence from concerned members of the public about his alleged criminal activities. Pmnews
At the point of arrest, a Ferrari 488 car, two i-phones, one Samsung phone, a laptop and Automated Teller Machine, ATM, cards were recovered from the suspect.
According to the EFCC, investigation revealed that the suspect did not have any known source of livelihood.

EFCC Arrests Vocal Buhari Critic, Shehu Sani, Over Alleged Extortion

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested Senator Shehu Sani, who represented Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly between 2015 and 2019.
The Nation reports that Sani was arrested for alleged extortion of $20,000 from owner of ASD Motors. The source said: “He was said to have collected the $20,000 from the owner of ASD Motors on the grounds that he is very close to the EFCC boss.
“He was subsequently arrested and granted administrative bail while he refunded the money to the victim.
“He was asked to report but made himself incommunicado. He must have been scamming a lot of people, dropping the name of the EFCC boss.”

UPDATED: How I helped robbers in foiled Abuja bank robbery – Staff

Larry Ehizo, a Customer Service Officer of a first-generation bank at Mpape, Abuja where a robbery attempt was foiled by policemen and soldiers last Saturday has given details of how the robbers gained access to the banking hall with his help.
One robber was killed and four others arrested after a team of policemen and soldiers foiled their attempt to rob the bank.
Staff of the bank, who were on duty on the day of the incident, had been taken by the police for questioning.
The policeman on duty, who it was gathered the robbers had unsuccessfully tried to tie down, had gunned down one of them and then called for back up.
According to Ehizo, who was paraded by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command, the mastermind of the robbery, one Ernest, who is at large, had threatened to kill him, his girlfriend and his family if he did not help them rob the bank.
Ehizo, who has worked with the bank for over two years, said he drove the five robbers into the bank premises in his vehicle…

China approves home-grown vaccines, offering alternative to global drugmakers' products

China has approved a pneumonia vaccine developed by Chinese drugmaker Walvax Biotechnology’s unit, its National Medical Products Administration said in a notice on Tuesday, offering an alternative to one of Pfizer’s best-selling products Prevnar 13.
Pfizer’s Prevnar 13, which was approved in China in 2016, was the only pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine available around the world before Walvax’s product, the notice said.
Walvax’s pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine will be mainly used to immunize children from six weeks through to five years of age from the invasive disease caused by 13 types of bacteria, the notice showed.
With more than 15 million newborn babies in 2018, China has huge demand for vaccines targeting pneumonia, which is the major cause of death of children under the age of five, the authority said.
A total of 27 cases of viral pneumonia in the central city of Wuhan were discovered and investigated by Chinese health authorities, local health commission said …

Ghosn fled Japan in a musical instrument box: MTV

Ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn fled Japan hidden inside a box intended to transfer musical instruments, according to Lebanese television station MTV. A band of musicians entered his home in Japan under the pretense that they would provide the entertainment during dinner. After leaving the party, Ghosn had hidden inside one of the musical instrument’s boxes before departing Japan via a local airport. MTV added that Ghosn had been in Lebanon for many hours before the news of his escape from Japan was made public. Japan’s ambassador to Lebanon was informed of his arrival in the country after being contacted by MTV, the station said. “I am now in Lebanon and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed,  Alarabiya
discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied,” Ghosn said in a statement on Tuesday. “I have not fled justice - I have escaped injustice and political persecution. I can now finally communicate freely with the media, and…

Angola freezes bank accounts of ex-president's daughter Isabel dos Santos

An Angolan court, acting in a graft investigation, has frozen bank accounts held by Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the public prosecutor said.
Dos Santos - who has been nicknamed Africa's wealthiest woman - is being investigated with her husband Sindika Dokolo in a corruption affair involving more than a billion dollars, it said in a statement issued late on Monday.
The probe is looking at alleged irregularities involving state companies, including the oil giant Sonangol which Isabel dos Santos used to run, and a diamond-marketing firm, Sodiam.
A tribunal in the capital Luanda, in a decision issued on December 23, ordered bank accounts held by the couple to be frozen.
Their holdings in several Angolan companies, including the telecoms firm Unitel and cement company Cimangola, have also been frozen, the statement said.
The court's decision also applies to a Portuguese businessman, Mario da Silva.
In a tweet, Isabel dos Santos, 46, s…

He was mocked for proposing in KFC, but the internet will give them their dream wedding

South African couple, Hector Mkansi and Nonhlanhla Soldaat are having their dream wedding December 31, right in time for new year, after a video of their proposal went viral in November.
The video shows Mkansi, 37, proposing to Soldaat, 28, midway through their meal at a KFC restaurant in South Africa.
Since it was posted by a Twitter user in November, the video has been shared more than 25,000 times using the hashtag #KFCProposal.
Strangers and brands from across the country were so moved by the proposal that they identified the couple and offered to help plan the big day.
KFC South Africa provided a wedding planner and Uber and Audi offered to help the couple get around on their honeymoon.
The proposal
Mkansi and Soldaat met at a funeral in 2010 and have been inseparable since then.
They tied the knot in a small ceremony in 2012, but Mkansi, who is a pastor, says it was not the wedding of their dreams.
“In 2011 our families began lobola negotiations (dowry) and in 2012 we got marrie…

Researchers discover new autoinflammatory condition

A team of specialists from Australia and the United States has identified a new autoinflammatory condition in humans. They also understand what causes it, which can help researchers find an adequate treatment. Researchers have identified a new autoinflammatory condition, which they have named CRIA syndrome. Autoimmune conditions occur when the body's immune response becomes abnormally activated. When this happens, it turns against healthy cells instead of just reacting to potentially harmful agents, such as viruses or dangerous bacteria, as it should. Recurrent fevers with unclear causes and widespread inflammation characterize such conditions. While they are not widespread, doctors often find autoinflammatory conditions challenging to diagnose. This is problematic, as these conditions can severely impact a person's well-being and quality of life. So far, researchers have identified only a handful of autoinflammatory conditions . They include familial Mediterranean fever, cry…

After public outcry, Lagos assembly amends ‘unrealistic’ land use charge law

The Lagos state house of assembly has amended the 2018 land use charge after a public outcry against the law.
The 2018 land use charge required property solely occupied by the owner for residential purpose to be charged at a rate of 0.076 percent per annum.
Also, a property occupied by the owner and tenant(s) or third parties will be charged at 0.256 percent per annum, while an investment property fully occupied by tenants or third party(ies) for revenue generation will be charged at 0.76 percent per annum.
The Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) had resisted the implementation of the law, asking people not to pay.
In a u-turn on Monday, the state assembly amended the law and adopted the resolution of its committee.
The adoption came after the six-man ad hoc committee constituted to review the law presented the report of its findings following a public hearing.
Rotimi Olowo, chairman of the committee, said the public hearing revealed that the increase is generally “perc…

Carlos Ghosn's lawyer Junichiro Hironaka said it was an ‘unexpected surprise’ to hear that his client had fled Japan

Ghosn arrived in Beirut on a private jet from Istanbul on Monday, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Immigration authorities had no record of Ghosn leaving the country, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said. A person resembling him entered Beirut international airport under a different name, NHK reported, citing an unidentified Lebanese security official. His lawyers were still in possession of his three passports, one of his lawyers, Junichiro Hironaka, told reporters. Hironaka, in comments broadcast live on NHK, said the first he had heard of Ghosn’s departure was on the news this morning and that he was surprised. He also said it was “inexcusable behaviour”. Japan has extradition treaties with only the United States and South Korea, according to the justice ministry, meaning it could be difficult to force Ghosn to return to stand trial. Reuters  While his arrest on financial misconduct charges last year ensured a dramatic fall from grace in Japan, he retains more popular…

Lebanon neighbors welcome Ghosn, activists in uproar

Lebanese neighbors of embattled former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn have welcomed his sudden return from Japan, but anti-government protesters accused the ex-tycoon of belonging to a corrupt elite.
In an upper-class district of the Lebanese capital, traffic appeared normal in front of the pink-colored town house said to be the ex-auto tycoon’s base in the country.
AFP was not immediately able to confirm whether Ghosn was inside the house, where the pale blue shutters had been flung open but a black steel gate was firmly shut.
The 65-year-old Brazil-born businessman has said he escaped “injustice” in Japan, where he was on bail awaiting trial over financial misconduct charges.
On the street corner, a shop owner in his fifties named Rene said he was delighted Ghosn had returned for New Year’s Eve.
“Injustice is unacceptable,” said Rene, who said the business tycoon had been a guest of honor at his son’s high school graduation.
“They did him wrong. A person is innocent until proven guilty, …

How Carlos Ghosn arrival drama unfolded at midnight in Lebanon

The former CEO of Nissan and Renault, French-businessman Carlos Ghosn, arrived in Lebanon on a private jet that is believed to have flown in from Turkey, sources told Arab News.
News about Ghosn, who faces house arrest in Japan amid ongoing legal action over alleged corruption during his tenure, broke on Monday at 11 pm [Beirut time].
An aide of Ghosn told Lebanese media that Ghosn was no longer under house arrest in Japan and has arrived in his native country.
The overthrown boss of the Renault-Nissan had been awaiting trial in Japan in April amid house arrest following several months in detention.
No official confirmation could be obtained from the Lebanese Internal Security Forces on Ghosn’s arrival at Beirut International Airport at midnight.
Requesting anonymity, an airport source told Arab News Japan that Ghosn arrived on a private jet that is believed to have flown in from Turkey. “He did arrive, but I cannot say when,” the source said without divulging further details.

Bailed tycoon Ghosn 'escapes' to Lebanon from 'rigged' Japan

Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn said Tuesday he had fled to Lebanon to escape injustice in Japan, where he was on bail awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges.
The auto tycoon's abrupt departure was the latest twist in a rollercoaster journey that saw him fall from boardroom to detention centre and it sparked questions over an embarrassing security lapse in Japan.
In a statement, the 65-year-old tycoon said he would "no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system, where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied".
"I have not fled justice -- I have escaped injustice and political persecution," said Ghosn, who vowed to communicate "freely" with the media "starting next week".
It was not clear how he managed to leave Japan, as his bail conditions barred him from exiting the country he had been held in since his sudden arrest in November 2018 sent shockwaves through the business world.

Nigeria Moves Against Hasty Adoption of ‘Eco,’ Says It’s Studying the Situation

Strong indications emerged yesterday that Nigeria is dissatisfied with what it considers as hasty adoption of the ‘Eco,’ the proposed single currency for West African countries.
Owing to this, the country may be unwilling to dump the naira for the ‘Eco’ unless all the prescribed criteria are met.
A reliable source in the presidency told THISDAY in a telephone interview that the federal government was not impressed with the approach of countries in the sub-region that had already adopted the ‘Eco,’ even when they knew that they had not met the prescribed conditionalities.
This, clearly, may have prompted the cautious approach the federal government adopted since it received the change of name of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) currency, otherwise known as Communaute Financiers d’Afique (CFA) to ‘Eco’ by eight French-speaking West African countries.
“Nigeria is studying the situation and would respond in due course,” a one-paragraph statement issued by Yunusa Abdull…

Ganduje bows to pressure, suspends law against male, female boarding same tricycles in Kano

The Kano State Government has bowed to pressure by suspending its law banning opposite genders from boarding same tricycles.
The spokesperson of Kano State Hisbah Board, the agency responsible for implementing the law, Lawan Fagge, disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday that the suspension followed intense meetings with the leadership of the AdaidataSahu Owners.
“The decision was taken after consultation with leadership of commercial tricycle operators who pleaded for extension of the implementation date from January 2020 to a much later date,” he said.
Late last week, the Commander General of Hisbah Board, Harun Ibn-Sina, announced that men and women would no longer be allowed to share the same commercial tricycles from January 2020. Dailypost
IBN Sina revealed this at the closing ceremony of 77th annual Islamic Vacation Course (IVC) organised by Zone A of Muslim Society of Nigeria (MSSN) held at Bayero University, Kano.

The U.S. ambassador to Iraq and other staff were evacuated from their embassy in Baghdad as thousands of protesters and militia fighters outside the gate

Thousands of protesters and militia fighters gathered on Tuesday outside the main gate of the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad to condemn air strikes on bases belonging to an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq.
U.S. forces carried out air strikes on Sunday against the Kataib Hezbollah militia in response to the killing of a U.S. civilian contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base.
The strikes risk drawing Iraq further into a proxy conflict between the United States and Iran at a time when it is being rocked by mass protests against the political system.
Some protesters threw stones at the gate while others chanted, “No, no, America! ... No, no, Trump!” Iraqi special forces were deployed around the main gate to prevent them entering the embassy.
Qais al-Khazali, leader of the Iranian-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, and many other senior militia leaders were among the protesters. Kataib Hezbollah flags were hung on the fence surrounding the building.
Iraqis are taking to the s…

Cancer patient set on fire during operation in Romania

A hospital patient has died after being set on fire during surgery in Romania.
Surgeons at Floreasca Hospital in Bucharest used an alcohol-based disinfectant on the woman, 66, before carrying out her operation for pancreatic cancer on 22 December.
But they then used an electric scalpel - which, as it came into contact with the alcohol, set the woman's body alight on the operating table.
She suffered burns to 40% of her body, and died in hospital a week later.
Police have opened an investigation into the woman's death, local media report.
The victim's family told Romanian media they hadn't been told of "the gravity of the situation" or the details of what had happened - only that it was "an accident".
"We found out some details from the press, when they were broadcast on TV stations," they said. "We aren't making accusations, we just want to understand what happened."
Health minister Victor Costache has promised to investigate…

School caretaker hid camera in toilet to watch female teachers on the loo

A school caretaker who hid a camera in a toilet used by female teachers has been jailed after he was filmed by his own device while installing it.
Matthew Stupples, 42, lived on-site at
Wimbledon Park Primary School in south-west
London and had worked there for almost 15 years.
Last summer, he attached an out-of-order notice to one of two cubicles in a female adult toilet in the school, meaning teachers had to use the adjacent loo.
It wasn’t until a sports academy hired the school facilities for the day that one of their staff discovered a micro-camera attached to the toilet roll holder and alerted police.
Iranian refugee reveals horrifying escape from torture in refrigerated lorry»
Officers searched Stupples’s house and found 76 videos and nearly 150,000 still frames showing more than 50 separate instances of people using the toilet.
One involved a child being assisted by a teacher.
Stupples initially denied fitting the camera but jurors at Kingston Crown Court heard how his face wa…

Eye injuries from laundry pods rising in U.S.

A growing number of kids are getting chemicals from laundry detergent pods in their eyes, even as ocular injuries from other types of household cleaners steadily decline, a U.S. study suggests.
Nationwide, poison control centers received 319,508 calls from 2000 to 2016 about people getting household cleaning products in their eyes, an average of 18,795 calls a year, researchers report in the journal Eye.
Overall, the annual frequency of these calls declined by 29% during the study period. But annual calls related to laundry detergent pods surged 1,960% from 2012, when they first hit the market, through the end of 2016.
Despite decades of efforts to improve child-resistant packaging, kids made up the vast majority of eye injuries from things like laundry pods, dish soap, glass cleaners, bleach and disinfectants. For every 100,000 U.S. residents, 28.4 kids under age 6 got household cleaning products in their eyes each year, compared with 4.2 teens and adults.
The highest exposure was a…

Buhari silent as defence minister is named in $550,000 fund diversion

President Muhammadu Buhari came under heavy criticism yesterday for his failure to act in the alleged indictment of his Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, for a $550,000 security fund diversion. Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu deflected response on the allegation to the office of the Minister of Defence when The Guardian sought the presidency’s reaction on the matter.
Against a groundswell of allegations of cherry-picking on whom to prosecute in his anti-corruption offensive, Buhari is now directly fingered for shielding Magashi, who is accused of stealing and shipping $550,000 from the nation’s treasury to an offshore account. Magashi has been called out to explain his role in the slush amount he received from the infamous ‘Abacha loot’ estimated by Transparency International to be at least $5 billion, out of which $3 billion has been recovered.
Nigerians are incensed that Buhari still ignores the findings in the report. The president’s indisposition to bringing his key appoint…

Japan Airlines is giving away 50,000 free plane tickets

Japan Airlines is giving away 50,000 free round-trip domestic air tickets to international tourists next summer -- but there's a catch.
The giveaway aims to encourage tourists to see less visited parts of Japan, and perhaps take some of the strain off Tokyo between July 1 and September 30 next year as the capital hosts the Olympic Summer Games.
However to win free tickets, travelers must be registered outside of Japan with the flag carrier's Mileage Bank frequent flier program. And you won't know where you are going until a few days after you apply.
The airline will recommend four local destinations to choose from, flying out of Haneda airport in Tokyo, or Osaka's Itami and Kansai airports. Family and friends traveling together can apply as a group of up to four people, and applicants will receive the result within three days of applying.
The Games will be held from July 24 to August 9, 2020, and the subsequent Paralympics finish on September 6. Japan's government …

Michelle Obama repeats as 'most admired woman' in Gallup's 2019 poll

Former first lady Michelle Obama has been named the "most admired woman" in the world for the second year in a row.
Obama, 55, bested current first lady Melania Trump in the 2019 results of an annual poll
released Tuesday by Gallup.
Obama was the only woman to rank in double digits, with 10%, according to Gallup. After Obama and Trump (who garnered 5% of votes), former talk show host Oprah Winfrey and teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg tied for fourth place with 3% each on the most admired women list.
Obama's husband, former president Barack Obama, tied President Donald Trump this year for most admired man. It is Barack Obama's 12th time in the top spot and the first time for President Trump, according to Gallup. Abc
Gallup has asked Americans each year since 1948 to name which man and woman living anywhere in the world they admire most. This year's results are based on a Dec. 2-15 poll by Gallup.

Ex-NDDC MDs, Brambaifa, Ekere Indicted In $16m Fraud As United States Arrests Nigerian Soldier, Wife

Brigadier-General Charles Nengite, a top-ranked soldier in the Nigerian Army, as well as his wife, has been arrested by the authorities of the United States of America for an unexplained $16m found in the wife’s account.
Former Managing Directors of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Nsima Ekere and Nelson Brambaifa, were indicted in slush funds as they both facilitated how Nengite laundered money from the commission through contracts awarded to him.
It was reported that between 2016 and 2019, Nengite was drafted to the NDDC where he allegedly benefitted from billions of naira in contracts while there.
It was gathered that Ekere and Brambaifa ensured that he had more than enough.
“At the end of it all, he had accumulated so much that $11m was discovered in his wife’s US account,” it was reported.
“Shocked by the amount of money in the wife’s account, American authorities reportedly wondered how she could amass such wealth and invited her for questioning but she could not explain …

Thousands trapped on Australia beach encircled by fire

Thousands of holidaymakers and locals were trapped on a beach in fire-ravaged southeast Australia on Tuesday (Dec 31), as blazes ringed a popular tourist area leaving no escape by land.
As many as four thousand people are trapped on the foreshore of the encircled seaside town of Mallacoota, as smoke turned day to night and the authorities said nearby fires were causing extreme thunderstorms and "ember attacks".
"We've got a fire that looks like it's about to impact on Mallacoota," Victoria's Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp told public broadcaster ABC, adding that firefighters have been deployed to protect the group.
The sky glows red as bushfires continue to rage in Mallacoota, Victoria, Australia, December 31, 2019, in this photo obtained from social media.REUTERS
Robert Phillips, co-owner of a Mallacoota supermarket, told Reuters he was sheltering around 45 people in his store, while others had headed to the town's main wharf.

Mexican TV star dies from parasitic tissue infection after reportedly eating TAPEWORM-contaminated pork

Actor Sebastian Ferrat, beloved in his native Mexico, has died after a long and horrifying struggle with an infection he reportedly contracted from contaminated pork. Is 2020 the year to give up bacon?
Fans are in deep sorrow as Sebastian Ferrat, 41, died on Sunday after a long battle with a grave illness that local media identified as cysticercosis, a parasitic infection that attacks the brain, muscles, or other tissues. According to reports, the actor, best-known for his roles in various television dramas, contracted the deadly infection after eating spoiled pork.
He reportedly languished in a coma for several months in hospital before finally succumbing to the infection. Rt
While cysticercosis can be contracted by eating bad pork, the terrifying condition is actually the result of food or beverages being contaminated by tapeworm eggs from human feces. In some cases, pigs become infected by eating the tapeworm eggs – which originate from humans suffering from tapeworms.

The Queen Honours Nigerian Engineering Prodigy

The image of Nigeria continues to be burnished with an appreciating number of her citizens who have attained excellent distinction in their fields of discipline. One of such distinguished Nigerians is Yewande Mayomi-Akinola who has been admitted into an elevated circle of honour and influence in Britain with the award of Order of the British Empire (MBE).
The proclamation conferring the honour on Mayomi-Akinola by Queen Elizabeth II of England was published in the official public record on December 28, 2019. The multi-talented awardee who is very proud of her Nigerian roots was recognized for services to Engineering and to Diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Design and Innovation.
Ranked one of the top 100 Most Influential Women Leaders in Engineering UK and Europe by the Financial Times, 35 year-old Mayomi-Akinola from Rugby, in Warwickshire works as principal engineer for Laing O’ Rourke.
Her admirable career has been decorated with various awards i…

Union Bank staff face trial for assaulting actress

The trial of members of staff of Union Bank, Plc, Lagos, Vivian Okoro, 36 and Femi Omomeji, 36 for allegedly assaulting and inflicting serious injuries on a Nollywood actress, Chioma Toplis, will commence on 11 January, 2020 at the Igbosere Chief Magistrate Court 8, Lagos.
The Defendants were earlier arraigned before the court in February 2019 on two-count charges bothering on assault occasioning bodily harm.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and their bail granted by Magistrate A.M Davies.
Trial of the case was delayed due to the absence of the complainant who travelled to London to treat herself from the injuries she sustained from the assault.
Okoro, who has relocated, was living in the same building with the complainant at the time of the incident at 11, Abagbon Close, Victoria Island, Lagos while Omomeji, the head of graphics at the Union Bank Headquarters, Lagos resides at Church street, Ipaja, Lagos.
Banker Femi Omomeji allegedly joined hands with girlfriend Vivi…

17 new laws and financial changes in 2020 and how they will affect you

Between Brexit, the election and a new prime minister, it's been a long and confusing year in politics.
Rules, benefit systems - even the date we're going to leave the EU - have been repeatedly chopped and changed.
And many of the changes made to our laws and budgets don't take effect immediately.
Most will involve some lead time before the changes come into force - so it's easy to forget what's coming up.
So we've rounded up 17 of the major changes to UK law, benefits, financial and employment rules that are set to take place in 2020.
They include increases to the minimum wage, new rights for gig economy workers and changes to the laws on gay marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland.
Read on to see how they'll affect you and your family.
January 2: Rail fares rise by 2.7%
(Image: Getty Images)
 Train fares to rise 2.7% in January for millions of passengers People on Universal Credit can get 50% off train and bus fares this Chris…