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Oyo 2019: Ladoja abandons Lanlehin, formally joins ZLP

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A former governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, has finally resigned his membership of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), over unresolved matters involving the choice of the deputy governorship candidate.

He told journalists in Ibadan on Thursday that ADC could not win the coming governorship election in the state due to the manner decisions were being taken by leaders he described as “invisible.”

He said he had pitched his tent with the Zenith Labour Party, where he would be fairly treated as well as all the zones in the state.

By his latest move, Mr Ladoja has abandoned his political mentee, Olufemi Lanlehin, who picked the ADC gubernatorial ticket, and had followed him through his sojourn in the Accord Party, the People’s Democratic Party and lately in the ADC.

But Mr Lanlehin told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview on Thursday that he had put the development behind him and was looking forward to achieving the goals of his election.

According to him, the defection of Mr Ladoja will not affect his pursuit of being elected governor, and if there will be any effect, it would only be minimal.

“I have put this behind me and moved on,” Mr Lanlehin, a former senator, said.

“He has been good to me. We both have a relationship that we will continue to keep despite the differences in the parties.

“I respect his decision and I will continue respect him, but whether his defection will affect my goals, I think it will not, if it will, it will be minimal.”

However, while addressing journalists, Mr Ladoja, flanked by the gubernatorial candidate of the ZLP in the state, Sharafadeen Alli, said it appeared that the leaders of the ADC were not ready to take responsibility for decisions taken.

“Those who are making decision in ADC are invisible,” the former governor said, noting that the leaders failed to carry along the major interest groups in the state which would have ensured victory for the party at the coming elections.

“Most people who are making decisions in ADC are invisible, they are not visible. You can’t see them. That means that they will not be responsible for the decisions they make,” said Mr Ladoja.

“I told you that my apprehension was that the way we are going we might not be able to win the elections because there are some areas that were not catered for.

“I told you about some areas in Ibarapa that were not catered for and we have been talking. The Zenith Labour Party decided that they will field Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli as the gubernatorial candidate of the party. They sought my consent.

“We were formerly in ADC, I am now in Zenith Labour Party. We have been on it for the past three months. The crisis in ADC was unwarranted.

He said the last straw that broke, was the choice of the deputy. “When I got the information on social media, I called Femi Lanlehin and he said he did not know anything about how the deputy was picked. I called Babalaje, Chief Koleoso, are you aware?’ He said he was not consulted. And I said this cannot hold. It is just a courtesy that if you are going to work with me I should be involved in your things.”

He said when he contested for the office of governor in 2003, he chose his deputy, Adebayo Alao-Akala. He said Mr Alao-Akala, who later became governor, was not imposed on him. Mr Ladoja argued that if a deputy was picked for a governor, there would be parallel government.

“I chose Otunba Alao-Akala myself. So he was not imposed on me. I said the way we were going, if we are not very careful, we are going to run parallel government when we get there because your deputy emerged without your consent. So he will say I am representing my group, you are representing your group, That is not good for governance,” he said.

“By the grace of God, we will win. You know that the candidate himself is not sleeping. You have the candidate, myself and people of goodwill in the state. I believe that by the grace of God, we will still win in this party.”

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Crime

Court Convicts Former NIMASA DG, Obi over N136million Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, May 23, 2019, secured the conviction of a former acting Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Callistus Obi. Also convicted was Alu Dimas, an aide to Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director-General of NIMASA. They were convicted by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi.



The duo were arraigned alongside two companies, Grand Pact Limited and Global Sea Investment, on April 12, 2016 on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, conversion, and money laundering to the tune of N136million (One Hundred and Thirty Six Million Naira).

The prosecution proved that the convicts converted the sum of money, N136million, belonging to the Agency to their personal use on August 5, 2014.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Callistus Nwabueze Obi and Dismas Alu Adoon, on or about the 5th day of August 2014, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: Conversion of the sums of N111, 000, 000.00 (One Hundred and Eleven Million naira) property of NIMASA, knowing that the said sums were proceeds of stealing, and thereby commited an offence.”

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them, thereby leading to their trial.

In the cause of the trial, the prosecution called eight witnesses and tendered several documents, which were admitted in evidence by the court.

At the resumed hearing today, Justice Olatoregun discharged and acquitted the defendants of the charge of conspiracy preferred against them.

The Judge, however, convicted them of conversion and money laundering.

The Judge said:  “The prosecution has proved the charges preferred against you beyond reasonable doubt with evident conversion and money laundering of N136million”.

Justice Olatoregun, however, deferred sentencing to May 28, 2019 and ordered that the convicts be remanded in prison custody.

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Brands

Zenith Bank Emerges First Nigerian Bank To Repeatedly Audit Its Carbon Emissions

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Zenith Bank Plc was presented with a Certificate for Greenhouse Gas Auditing by V4 Advisors after a successful completion of the Bank’s Greenhouse Gas Audit for the 2018 Financial Year. The presentation of the certificate and the report of the Auditors was done by V4 Advisors at the Zenith Bank Head Office on May 21, 2019.

The Executive Director, Dr. Temitope Fasoranti, who received the certificate on behalf of the Bank said the Bank started this effort with the 2016 Financial Year and has carried out three greenhouse gas audits to date.  He explained that the Bank understands the relationship between greenhouse gas emission and climate change and appreciates the role it is expected to play towards combating the menace of climate change.

Also speaking on the milestone, the Country Manager, Lynsey Elston highlighted that Zenith Bank is the first Nigerian bank to consecutively report the carbon emissions of their Head Office in Lagos using a certified tool which is built on the internationally recognized “GHG Protocol”. 

She commended the bank for proving its commitment to United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Goal 13, Climate Action, in addition to complying with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards.”  In response to her, the Executive Director said the initiative has significantly helped the bank reduce its overall carbon footprints and drive energy efficiency.

V4 Advisors is a UAE-based provider of advisory and consulting solutions on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The firm’s calculation and reporting tool has been reviewed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) for conformance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

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Lagos Matters

Senate okays bill seeking to upgrade Yabatech to varsity status

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The Senate, on Thursday, passed the City University of Technology (Est, etc) Yaba Bill, 2018 for second reading.

The decision followed a motion by Sen. Gbenga Ashafa (APC-Lagos) at the plenary presided over by Senate President, Bukola Saraki in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill essentially sought to transform the Yaba College Technology (YabaTech) in Lagos State, to the City University of Technology Yaba.

Leading the debate, Ashafa, who represents Lagos East Senatorial District, argued that if the bill is considered, it would enhance the capability of the institution to achieve its objectives.
”Nigeria’s steady march towards education for all in the shortest possible time has taken a giant leap with the introduction of this bill.

”I am personally excited by the prospect of transforming this polytechnic to a university of technology because it will motivate both students and academic staff.
”It will also upgrade the facilities and enhance it capability to achieve its objectives.
”Similarly, the new university of technology will encourage the advancement of learning and hold out to all persons without distinction of race, creed, sex or political conviction the opportunity of acquiring a higher and liberal education,” he said.

Citing instances, the lawmaker noted that in similar circumstances in the United Kingdom, most of the polytechnics were upgraded to universities.
”If Nigeria has plan to become one of the world’s leading economies as currently being pursued by government, we must be ready to adjust and position our educational institutions so that its products are geared for the technological challenges inherent in such projections,” he said.

According to him, the attainment of university status would definitely enhance the operations of the Yaba Polytechnic and clarify its mission and vision.
Lawmakers, who contributed to the motion, also supported it.

When the motion was put on a voice vote, it was unanimously adopted by the legislators.
Saraki, therefore, referred the bill to Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND for further legislative action and report back within a week.
Similarly, the Senate also passed a Bill for the Establishment of Federal Polytechnic Iwerekun, Ibeju-Lekki Lagos, sponsored by Ashafa for second reading.

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