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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Berlusconi Expelled From Italian Parliament

The Italian Senate has voted to expel ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from parliament with immediate effect over his conviction for tax fraud.

Berlusconi, who has dominated politics for 20 years, could now face arrest over other criminal cases as he has lost his immunity from prosecution.

He told supporters in Rome it was a “day of mourning” for democracy.

Ahead of the vote, he vowed to remain in politics to lead his Forza Italia in a “fight for the good of Italy”.

A defiant Berlusconi told supporters gathered outside his Rome residence that “no political leader has suffered a persecution such as I have lived through”.

He said: “It is a bitter day, a day of mourning.”

Berlusconi, 77, said his struggle would continue outside parliament.

He said: “We must stay on the field, we must not despair if the leader of the centre-right is not a senator any more. There are leaders of other parties who are not parliamentarians.”

The vote marks the end of a process which determines that Berlusconi cannot take part in any general election for six years.

Though a major blow to the former PM’s political ambitions, the Berlusconi show is far from over – he will continue to lead Forza Italia outside parliament, a party that has considerable electoral support.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2013 in Politics

 

Big Thief, Small Thief: Hilarious Satire – by Prof. Pius Adesanmi

“Dakingari, Dakingari, Dakingari, how many times I call you?”

“Three times, Prof”

“Stop disturbing me about the lack of media attention to your case”

“But, Prof, you have to admit that I am being discriminated against by the media because I am a Hausa-Fulani man.”

“How so?”

“Haba, Prof, are you kidding me? I successfully stole N1.3 billion from the coffers of Kebbi state and it has hardly made a blip on the national media radar. You think the media would ignore me if I was an Igbo woman?”

“I’m not sure that your Hausa-Fulani ethnicity and gender have anything to do with the media blackout on your illustrious looting career. After all, your brother, Farouk Lawan and his cap got fantastic media coverage.”

“Why else would the media ignore me totally, Prof?”

“It could be because you are stealing from a backward almajiri state that can only make national headlines through Boko Haram. Only national thieves make the headlines in mainstream media nowadays. There are so many of you in Nigeria that there ain’t nearly enough space to squeeze in every thief in the land. You have to find a way to go and steal in Abuja and maybe also accompany the Vice President on his next pilgrimage to Mecca. If your ambition does not rise beyond stealing from Kebbi, you cannot expect national media coverage o. You cannot be playing for Kano pillars and expect media coverage like you are playing for Barcelona.”

“Ah, I like your analogous, Prof”

“You mean analogy?”

“Ah, yes, analogy! But what about you Prof, you didn’t even write anything about me. Is your blackout also because I’m looting the treasury of a backward state that never makes national news? Do you write only about Federal thieves?”

“No, Dakingari, I write about all the thieves in Nigeria irrespective of tribe, gender, and creed. You are just unlucky that your case came up after I made my Unoka Resolution”

“Unoka Resolution? Prof, who is Unoka?”

“You know your brother, Sule Lamido in Jigawa?”

“Ah, na san shi mana. I know him very well”

“You know that he and his sons stole N10 billion from the treasury of Jigawa state. Yet, they have not come to wake me up in the morning and cry that I have not written about their remarkable heist. Our elders say that the sun will shine on those standing before it shines on those kneeling beneath them. I pay attention now to only those who steal five billion and above. I no longer have time for petty thieves like you. You stole N1.3 billion and I will not hear word. Go back to Kebbi and add N4 billion to it and you will earn a column from me”

“Ok, I will try Prof. But you have not told me about that Unoka o. Where is he? Is he the person that will write about me if I steal N5 billion successfully from Kebbi state treasury?”

NOTE: The titling was by me. The story was culled from the Facebook page of Prof. Pius Adesanmi

Blog owner is on Twitter: @Femiolas

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Comic, Politics

 

Nigeria Banks To Shutdown Nationwide

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A major crisis looms in the financial sector, as all banks in the country may shut their doors to customers anytime this week, as their chief executive officers (CEOs) move to protest the continued detention of their staff by the Department of State Security (DSS).

It was gathered that the CEOs are irked by the arrest and detention of several key officials of no fewer than 13 banks over the last two weeks by security operatives, saying that this has not only crippled their operations but also poses a great risk if normal banking operations continues.

The 13 banks directly affected by the arrests are Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, Unity Bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), First Bank Plc, Skye Bank, Sterling Bank, Diamond Bank, Ecobank, Wema Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and CitiBank.

The arrest of the bank officials are linked to money laundering case against the Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, a key member of the G7 governors, who is also one of the arrowheads of the New PDP believed to be opposed to President Goodluck Jonathan’s rumoured second term ambition.

The DSS is said to be investigating questionable transactions involving the governor and two of his sons, Aminu and Mustapha, who is the District Head of Bamaina, their hometown. While the governor is said to have escaped arrest, as a result of his constitutional immunity, his two sons were arrested last week by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). However, it is the DSS that is handling the case of the bankers.

According to the DSS, following the arrest of Aminu, last year, at the Aminu Kano International Airport Kano, for failing to make full declaration of the $50, 000 he had on him while trying to board a flight to Egypt, where his wife was receiving treatment, further investigation of the sources of income of the governor’s son revealed huge transactions involving the movement of Jigawa State funds into accounts of companies in which both the governor and his two sons are believed to have interest. The amount involved, according to the DSS, is about N10 billion.

The DSS had subsequently swooped on the 13 banks in which the companies have accounts and even obtained a court order to freeze the accounts. Also, it had begun a systematic arrest and detention of senior officials of the bank in the last two weeks.

While not questioning the powers of the DSS to arrest anybody, a source close to one of the bank chief executive told Daily Sun yesterday that the CEOs were worried that the bankers have been held without arraignment, for over two weeks, a clear violation of their rights.

“The laws of the country say that nobody can be detained for more than 48 hours without been charged to court,” the source said, adding: “Some of them have now been detained for 16 days without access to their families or lawyers. They are being held incommunicado.”

According to him, the bank chiefs, some of who met last weekend, are saying that they might not have any other choice than to shut down operations, as some of the officials being detained are key to their operations.

“One of those arrested is a director. Some others are risk managers, fraud control and detection officers, zonal and regional coordinators and key IT experts. There are compliance managers among the arrested. There are also account officers, branch managers, chief inspectors and heads of treasury among those arrested. To continue to operate without these key personnel could expose depositors’ funds to serious danger. So, the bank CEOs are thinking it might be safer to close shop to secure depositors’ funds and reduce expose to a possible collapse of the nation’s banking system,” the senior bank sour said.

Apart from the risk of possible compromise of the system, the bank chiefs are also frowning at the propriety of the DSS action. They fear that, unlike the EFCC and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which have the wherewithal to investigate bank transactions and fraud, the DSS may not be threading on a familiar turf.

The source said: “The banks daily, and statutorily, report transactions and fraud alerts to both the EFCC and the CBN. If there is any suspicion over such transactions, the DSS can crosscheck and verify with both the EFCC and the CBN. It is rather shocking that the investigation of transactions by companies of the sons of the Jigawa State governor would warrant such mindless and elaborate disruption of banking operations in 13 banks, which is what this arrest and continued detention of these critical bank official amount.”

Another source close to a bank CEO said the manner of arrest was an issue also. According to him, the idea of literally kidnapping these bankers and traumatising their families is particularly unfair.

“Even though none of the officials was said to have resisted arrest or refused to co-operate with the security operative, the security personnel still hounded them down like common criminals. Some were aroused from sleep, with machine guns pointed at them and their family members,” the source stated.

He particularly pointed to a case in Lagos, where the child of the affected officer was rudely awoken from sleep by scores of gun-wielding operatives, who were turning their home upside-down, allegedly searching for documents.  According to him, another of the bankers arrested in Lagos was eventually moved to Abuja in a military aircraft.

He said the bank chiefs, who are seriously considering the option of closing shop and going on strike may make true their threat anytime between today and Wednesday, to secure depositors’ funds, which, he said, have been exposed to grave danger, by the arrests.

When contacted on the development last night, a highly placed officer of the DSS said the service was unmoved by the threat of the strike,

“I dare them to try it. Nigeria will not collapse. We might be forced to go public with information we have on what they are doing, both the governors and the bank chiefs. If you tell Nigerians the whole truth the citizens of some of these states would want to stone their governors. It’s not only the Jigawa case. Many governors are also into it. Also, it is not about, nor is it restricted to G7 governors. It cuts across.”

On the propriety of the DSS investigating and arresting bankers, the officials directed the CEOs to the statues setting up the service.

“Our brief covers what we are doing. We are empowered to investigate both security and financial crimes that could have security implications,” he insisted.

He further asked: “How can somebody steal as much as N75billion that has the capacity to upturn the entire economy and you say you can’t investigate?”

He said that era of people using strike and all manner of threat to blackmail security officials from uncovering their dubious ways have passed. “Let them go on strike and we would get our bosses to address a press conference to go public with what we have uncovered,” he fired back.

Daily Sun gathered that the law actually empowers DSS to probe financial crime. Instrument 1 of May 1999 empowers the service to carry out the prevention, detection and investigation of: a) Threat of espionage; b) threat of subversion; c) threat of sabotage; d) economic crimes of national security dimension; e) terrorist activities; f) separatist and inter-group conflicts; g) threat to law and order.

All efforts to get the CBN to comment on the development proved abortive, as calls to the line of the apex bank’s governor kept saying it was switched off.

Similarly, he was yet to reply an SMS to that effect as at press time last night.

 

SOURCE:  Daily Sun

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Opinion

 

Airtel Unveils BBM Bundle for Smartphones

Leading Telecommunications service provider, Airtel Nigeria, has become the first service provider to create a special Blackberry Messenger (BBM) bundle for the teeming number of Nigerians who now use the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) for Android and iPhones.

This bundle provides great opportunity and access for Airtel customers to chat with friends, family and loved ones, as much as they want with the monthly plans, which allow unrestricted data usage for BBM-related activity within a 30-day subscription window.

To enjoy the special BlackBerry Messenger offering for smartphone users, customers are to dial *440*22#, *440*23# and *440*24# for the Monthly, Weekly and Daily plans respectively.

The Airtel special BBM daily plan attracts N100 charge; the Weekly plan goes for N200 while customers can activate the Monthly plan for N300. All these plans enable customers enjoy a full month BlackBerry Messenger access.

According to the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Airtel, Deepak Srivastava, the newly introduced BlackBerry Messenger Bundle for Smartphone, which is coming less than a month after global launch of service, affirms the company’s innovativeness and customer-centricity.

He asserted that Airtel is always swift in its response to impact customers with the latest technology trends, especially those that provide them great telecoms experience.

“The demand for BlackBerry Messenger on smartphones is unprecedented and as a company that thrives on innovation and customer satisfaction, we had to be swift in providing our customers with added value and further delight their BB service experience with the BBM bundle plans. In addition, the offering will enable our customers to experience the efficacy and robustness of Airtel’s 3.75g service”, he said.

SOURCE: DailyPost

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2013 in Opinion

 

How Bukola Saraki forced us to resign against our wishes – Kwara Chairmen, Councilors

Coalition of Council Chairmen and Councillors in Kwara State, have alleged that former governor, Bukola Saraki unjustly, illegally and unconstitutionally forced them to resign from their respective positions.

In a normal circumstance, the elected officials in the sixteen (16) Local Government Councils should be in office for three years as recognised by the law.In this case, the tenure of the aggrieved persons should ordinarily lapse in November 26, 2013 as against 10th November, 2013, the date they were “forcefully” directed to resign en mass.

The group told DailyPost that for reasons best known to Saraki, a serving Senator, his protege Governor, Fatai Ahmed and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, they were all rail-roaded into resigning, purportedly to allow the incoming LG executives to take over.

According to them, “we were only handed with already prepared draft of resignation letter, with a strict instruction that we append our signatures or face the consequences.”Leaders of the coalition in an SOS forwarded to DailyPost and signed by Abdumumini Alege (ILORIN WEST), Ajeigbe Soliu (ASA), Semiu Otolorin (ASA) and Bashira Lawal (WEST) stated that since they were too scared to go against the instructions of the leaders, they refused the temptation to protest at the Great Hall in Ilorin on Tuesday.

They noted that their colleagues too complained and grumbled in muted voices for fear of witch-hunt.Explaining further, the officials said the dummy sold to them was that with the resignation, the payment of the last month salary (October) as well as severance package would be made easy.The petitioners also doubt payment of salary for the month of November, which they would have been entitled to before the unilateral order was issued.

“It is in the light of the above that we bring this formal complaint to the public through your medium,” they appealed.“We believe we should not suffer the double jeopardy of losing our jobs as well as the remunerations that we should ordinarily be entitled to, simply because of the evil orchestration of some few selfish individuals in our great party.

“It behoves us that Senator Saraki would treat us this unjustly when his alleged grouse against the national leadership of our party (PDP), is the injustice meted to a section of the party.“Doesn’t this amount to double standard when we fail to act what we preach? How would we be cheaply sacrificed by the leader just to please the incoming executives? they asked. “Have we been so quickly used and abandoned by the leader and the Party?”

While calling on all Kwarans and Nigerians to come to their aide, the Council Chairmen and Councillors in Kwara State, appealed to the Kwara PDP and the state government to do what is right without further delay.

SOURCE: DailyPost

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Posted by on November 15, 2013 in Politics

 
 
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