By Oladipupo Awojobi
I had been receiving some strange calls from Monday 4th November, 2019 with some people telling me they had some jobs for our publication. But something told me it was fake and I didn’t fall for the trick.
This continued all through Thursday 7th November. That day, I was sent to Lekki area of Lagos by my boss, the Publisher of First Weekly Magazine, Mr. Dayo Asaju who was away in London for holiday. I was sent there to get a brief for a story we wanted to do for an estate developer and industrialist.
Suddenly, I got a phone call from my wife, Omolara Awojobi, but I didn’t pick the phone because I had just started taking the brief from the estate developer.
However, an opportunity came, when the man took a break to discuss with someone, I then called my wife on the phone to hear what she had to say.
She told me that someone called her from a courier company (name withheld) that she had some parcels with them. She said she searched through Facebook and saw the name of the person on the Facebook page of the courier company.
Meanwhile, the perceived operative of the courier company had told her that he was going to Alagbado Area and that he would want to deliver my wife’s parcel along with the others he wanted to take down.
I fell for the trick too with a reservation, I wonder why I didn’t link that to the calls I had been receiving. Let me digress a bit. They certainly got my wife’s name on my Facebook page and went to her Facebook page, where they copied her phone number.
I am sure my wife was convinced when they mentioned her name, “Omolara Awojobi” since her name is not in public domain. For someone like me, who is a journalist, I cannot be taken aback when you mention my name, I know you must have seen it in one of my stories or on our website. My wife gave them her shop address and she even assisted them to get the place properly through direction on phone.
Alas, they got there and identified themselves as police officers. They told her they came for me that some people used my name and phone number to buy a car and that the issue had become a police case.
She entered their vehicle and they told her to call me and tell me that she had an accident and that she was in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). She declined and said she would tell me she was arrested by the police.
When her call came in, I quickly picked the phone and she told me in a low tone, “Daddy Peace, come and meet me at Ikeja Police Station. Police said you have a case to answer over some people who used your name and phone number to buy a car.”
With this, I knew I was in trouble and that those who were searching for me, probably over a story had caught up with me.
I picked my phone and called my boss, Mr. Dayo Asaju, who told me to calm down and go and meet them and know what really happened.
I also informed my former editor, Mr. Malik Ibitoye, I called my brothers, some of my pastors in the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and my colleagues at the Lagos State House of Assembly Correspondents Association (LAHACA).
Then my boss had called the Publisher of City Pride, Mr. Joshua Uloko, who is a crime correspondent. Joshua told me to meet him at Ikeja under Bridge. From there, we went to Area F Police Station, but when I called my wife she said they were at the Police Command Headquarters in GRA.
We took Keke Marwa down to the place. Then, the journey started. Two police officers, a male and a female, led by the female, who is an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), had been dispatched from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Headquarters, Area 10, Garki, Abuja for the arrest.
They welcomed me and said it was not about any car matter, but that one Mr. Olumide Aderinokun wrote a petition against our organization over a story we wrote against him late August, 2019.
They then collected my two phones from me and the male officer kept the phones. They asked me if I wrote the story and I said I didn’t know where my boss got it from and that my boss was not around.
Then, I wrote several statements beginning with my name and biography generally. Then the company I work for, my position, salary and all that. At that time, it was getting dark, so my wife had to go and I handed my bag and some money to her.
Later, Mr. Uloko help me to get food as I was fasting being the month of 30 days fasting declared by the General Overseer of RCCG, Pastor E.A Adeboye for the members.
I was taken to another office, after that I was handed over to the detention officers at the station as the officers came with a detention order from Abuja.
I was stupefied and I asked the officers what was going on, they said they would be coming back. That was how I was kept at a corridor opposite the police cell till the following morning.
The male officer came by 6:30 am on Friday 8th November and I was able to call my wife that I would be taken to Abuja that day.
The female officer came and we took off to Murtala Mohammed Airport, Local and boarded Azman Air to Abuja at 8am. We got to Abuja at 9am and we took a cab to the FCID, Abuja.
They gave me my phones to call whoever I wanted to call. I called my wife, my boss and my younger brother. When we got into the office, a senior police officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) interrogated me and made me to write more statements.
I was also taken to a senior police officer, I am sure they said he is a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DC), who also interrogated me on the story. But I kept telling them I was not the source and that it was approved for publication by my boss.
At a time, my boss spoke with the DSP on phone and he told him to come down to Nigeria. I eavesdropped them that they were trying to get a remand order from the court to get me detained for the weekend and may be beyond.
All along, my friend who had my wife’s number had connected her to Samuel Ogundipe of Premium Times, who interviewed her and did a story about my arrest that set the internet on fire.
People were calling me from all corners after that and I was even tired of taking calls, while I was also apprehensive, but I had prepared for the worse.
However, my boss was making calls and he assured me that everything was under control. He contacted Barrister Kayode Ajulo in Abuja, who sent his boys with bail application. Then a senior police officer came around and the matter started taking another dimension as the officers said I would be released on bail.
Samuel Ogundipe of Premium Times came in suddenly and started questioning them about why they had to detain me over a civil matter. They calmed him down and he offered to stand as surety for me, which he eventually did with all the necessary documents and undertaking.
Lest I forget, they said they were charging me for criminal conspiracy and malicious damage to the man’s reputation amongst others.
One of the lawyers of Aderinokun also came around to confirm my arrest shortly before I was released. But, after the calls of my boss, story changed as senior officers intervened and I was left off the hook and made to sign an undertaking that I would be back in Abuja with my boss on Tuesday December 10 as my boss had told the DSP that he would be in Nigeria by 3rd December.
My boss arranged my flight money and I took an Uber Cab to the Abuja Airport from, where I connected the last Arik Air Flight to Lagos and I arrived the airport late.
So, I slept at the airport and I reunited with my family on the morning of Saturday 9th November.
It was a nasty experience that I wouldn’t want repeated, but I was told it is part of the hazards of our job!
Oladipupo Awojobi is the Editor of First Weekly Magazine.
Pressure Mounts On VP, Yemi Osinbajo To Change Deputy Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye + Inside Details Of The Latest Scheming
This is coming days after news filtered to town that some of the aides of the VP were sacked by the presidency.
Sources within the seat of power in Abuja revealed authoritatively that it is a matter of days before the lawyer-turned-politician, Ade Ipaye would be shown the way out of office to give room for some other fellow with much influence and who could get things done in time.
It was argued that Ade Ipaye has not been able to manage the office effectively and that this has not helped the Vice President, who we gathered needed to do more to prove that he could quickly get things done for the government.
We gathered that Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi was initially suggested as the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Preaidency attached to the Vice President in 2015 based on his vast network of friends and associates before Ade Ipaye, who was a commissioner in Lagos State, was eventually picked.
Afikuyomi reportedly became influential right from the days of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republic Convention (NRC) and he is seen as a necessary evil.
He was also said to be close to the likes of Baba Gana Kingibe and Alhaji Maman Daura.
“Tokunbo Afikuyomi is close to the creme of northern politicians now seen as the cabal and he could leverage on this for Osinbajo who is not a politician,” said a source, who added that some other people were being considered for the plum job, but that Afikuyomi’s name tops the list.
We were further informed that the Ikenne, Ogun State-born Vice President is allegedly favouring only members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God including the immediate past Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Tony Enelamah, in appointments in the seat of power.
He was also accused of favouring his family members, who never contributed to the success of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in his appointments including the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Segun Awolowo.
Sources alleged that despite the fact that Segun Awolowo was not appointed by the current government he ought to have been removed, when his tenure ended, but that he is enjoying the favour of the Vice President, who married a grand daughter of the Awolowos.
Sources alleged that the fact that a large percentage of the aides of the VP are either members of the RCCG or members of his family has become a source of concern to the cabal in Aso Rock.
First Weekly Magazine was informed that Osinbajo did not show any form of commitment to those who sponsored him, which sources said was part of the reasons he wasn’t given any consideration in the scheme of things in Lagos.
It was learned that the godfathers of Lagos politics felt disappointed by Osinbajo since he got to office in 2015 and that they have vowed to take a pound of flesh from him.
“Osinbajo belongs to Lagos political circle. But the leaders of the party in the state are not happy with him because he has not done much for them since he got into office.
“He is completely lost in what he is doing in Abuja and he has not addressed any of the issues we took to him that is why we do not reckon with him in the state,” said a source.
The source added that the leaders of the party in Lagos have made Osinbajo to understand that he still had enough time to amend his ways “before it is too late as time is no longer on his side. 2023 is just around the corner, when his tenure as the nation’s Vice President would end.”
I Married Regina Daniels For Love – Ned Nwoko
In this interview, the former member of the House of Representatives, representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency of Delta State, revealed why he married actress, Regina Daniels and his motivation to build the premier sports higher institution, Stars University, billed to take off this month in his community of Idumuje-Ugboko, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.
The Stars University is a dream I have always had because of my love for sports. Of course, there has never been a sports university in the whole of sub-Sahara Africa, in spite of its enormous economic benefits. I am building the sports university to encourage our youths to be engaged in sports rather than waste their youthful time on non-beneficial ventures.
So, the STARS University is the first of its kind in sub-Sahara Africa and it will commence academic activities in September for human and economic benefits of our country, including adoring the environmental landscape of Anioma and creating jobs for our people.
My intention was to build a full-fledged sports university. However, the National Universities Commission (NUC) advised that I bring in other fields of human endeavours, arguing that I cannot build a university completely focused on sports. So, apart from sports as the major programme, we had to include technology, arts, research and science.
So, STARS is the acronym for Sports, Technology, Arts, Research and Science. I sited the university in my community due to the love I have for my people and the need to bequeath in my community a legacy that will outlive me.
Wow! Why did I marry Regina Daniels? I married her for love. You know, as a result of my British orientation, everything I have done in the past was centred on my personal conviction. Not until recently, I began to think towards home, not in the area of doing most of my activities at home, but in marriage.
My older wives are not from Anioma. And I saw the need to marry a proper Anioma wife, who is intelligent, beautiful and befitting of my status. Regina Daniels came at the right time, and as an adult, both of us consenting adults, we got married.
My grandfather, the king of Idumuje-Ugboko, married as many wives as possible and had uncountable children. I am from that dynasty as a grandson. Again, like I said earlier, I needed an Anioma wife who will fit into our culture and represent my interest as a proud Anioma son. When I encountered Regina Daniels (now Enyi Mrs. Regina Nwoko), I loved her for her near chastity and respect, and when I proposed, she accepted.
Well, I am just me, nobody can play me and get the original. I am a lover of people; that is why I encourage humanity at all times to get better in terms of capacity and quality of life. I love education, and that is why I am passionate about giving scholarship to encourage those who wish to go to school. Part of that desire is the reason I am investing heavily in the Stars University. If that means not corporately organised, so be it.
Why We Started The Jungle House – Salimat Alhassan
Salimat Iluobe Alhassan is a trained chef with passion for the job. The London-trained chef started “The Jungle House” to prepare assorted meals for people from all walks of life.
In this interview she granted us, the passionate chef speaks on what motivates her as a chef and why “The Jungle House” will set the pace for the culinary industry in Nigeria.
Can we meet you?
My Name is Salimat Iluobe Alhassan. A Bsc holder from the University of Aston, Birmingham United Kingdom. I am the Co-founder and Executive Chef of “The Jungle House.” I am an indigene of Edo State and I have four siblings.
When and why did you decide to become a Chef?
Cooking has always been something I did for fun, I never really pictured myself taking this career path until I started a little catering business in my final year in the university. The business grew and the reviews were very positive so I began to discover further my deep love for culinary techniques and the science behind cooking. What started as a little university project has turned out to be a burning passion of mine to bring about a healthier country through food.
How did your family receive the news when you told them you wanted to become a chef, considering the fact that most parents want their children to be lawyers, doctors etc?
As we all know unconventional career paths could be a bit confusing. At first, when I told my parents I wanted to be a Chef, it met a bit of uncertainty on their part.
However, I was able to prove to them how financially rewarding it is and how passionate I was about it. Once they saw that they began to support me instantly. I am so grateful to have their support as I can always rely on them for counsel
Did you go to culinary school? If yes, which one — Or how did you learn the job?
I have always loved reading recipes and recreating them in my own way, this allowed me learn a lot of techniques on my own. I am an alumni of Red Dish Culinary Chronicles, where I sought to improve on my techniques.
What did you like best about your time in culinary school?
You get to try different kinds of meals from different aspiring chefs.
Why “The Jungle House?” Tell us about it, do you train aspiring chefs?
We came about the name “The Jungle House” through my desire to highlight my diversity. I thought to myself what best describe my diversity in cooking?” Then I thought of “The Jungle.”
“The Jungle” has different types of animals and trees and it is very diverse.
“The Jungle House” is a food development company with diverse interest in food content production, catering and food educational resources.
“The Jungle House” also owns the baguette sandwich brand 12 inch baguette.
What type of events do you cater for?
“The Jungle House” caters for an array of clients. Our menu is innovative and dynamic. Also, through our sandwich company we aim to serve a more diverse range of clients from kids to workers etc. Just give us a call and we are more than happy to assist you in setting up a memorable event.
How is the reception to chefs like in Nigeria?
Nigerian culture is developing our music, cloths and food are becoming mainstream and this has brought about a positive reaction to how chefs are perceived in Nigeria. The profession is getting a much desired attention.
Is there a chef you admire most and why?
I don’t have a Chef I admire. Maybe Jamie Oliver because of his love for exploring different cuisines. But I believe in staying true to myself. It is very easy to admire someone and want to be like him or her and copy everything he or she does. This can mislead you from your own unique potential because every chef is unique in his or her own way.
What is your signature cuisine?
Can’t stick to one, it is always changes.
So, you have a guest, she’s an American she has never been to Africa before, what are you whipping up for your guest?
Jollof rice and fried plantain.
Tell me about your most memorable outing as a Chef. (Any big name(s) you’ve made food for?
My first corporate gig was for Access Bank I was tasked to present a range of canapés. I recall staying up all night thinking of how best to please my client. With more practise these days, I stay awake, but not all night.
Tell me about your most embarrassing cooking moment.
Where I realised I didn’t know how to wrap a shawarma and I had to wrap about 100 shawarmas for students.
Would you spend more time cooking a food or bothering about how pleasing it is aesthetically ?
Both. People do eat with their eyes first. But I will also make sure the food is cooked to perfection no matter how long it takes.
When is your happiest moment at work?
When I’m creating new recipes
Where is your happy place?
My kitchen on the beach.
Where do you see Chef Sally and The Jungle House in the coming years?
I envision “The Jungle House as a company which will be at the forefront of the culinary industry in Nigeria and also the first full fledged food network in the country.
A message to young aspiring chefs?
Just be yourself. No one else can be you.
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS
What do you always avoid ordering on a menu?
What is your go to meal, when you’re low on time?
What would your last meal be, if you could decide?
What is the most overrated recent food trend?
What is a simple good piece of advice for pairing wine and food?
Eat red meat with red wine
Favourite restaurant in Nigeria and outside?
Nigeria – Thai Thai
Outside – Pepe piri piri
Which country in the world has the best food?
Easiest meal to impress someone?
Salmon, beetroot and apple tartare
Favourite Nigerian meal?
Your favourite wine?
I don’t drink
5 cooking ingredients you can’t do without?
Salt, black pepper, onion, garlic and paprika
Do you scream in the kitchen?
How do you get your revenge on unappreciative and annoying customers?
Customer is King.
Favourite ingredient to work with?
If you weren’t cooking what would you be doing for a living?
Food Video contents
What are you most excited about right now?
Getting an Electric food truck for my 12 inch baguette sandwich service.
Do you have any pet peeves?
When a teammate disappoints and affects the overall performance of the team
Society News1 year ago
EXCLUSIVE: The Complete Story of Dolapo Awosika, John Fashanu and Prophet Kasali Sex Mess
Crime8 months ago
Unbelievable! Isolog Pry. School AKUTE Teacher Allegedly Rapes 2 Children… teacher on The Run
World News1 year ago
I laughed when I read the story that I gave Israel ultimatum to return Nnamdi Kanu – Lai Mohammed
Featured5 months ago
Lagos Property Magnate, TV Mogul In Messy Sex Scandal In Dubai
News8 months ago
NDLEA Closes In On Sanwoolu’s Aide, Funke Phillips
News2 months ago
Lagos Top female APC Member In Multi-Billion Naira Debt Mess + How She Is Living Fake Life
News3 years ago
Audu Maikori retracts statement that 5 students of Kaduna state College of Education were killed in Southern Kaduna crisis
News8 months ago
Umar Mohammed Bago, Man With Passion For Service