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How Female Lawyer Killed, Cut Off Husband’s Intestines — Witnesses Tell Court

Peter Okunoren

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A friend and sibling of the 50-year-old lawyer, Symphorosa Otike-Odibi, who was allegedly stabbed to death by his wife, Udeme Otike-Odibi, on Monday narrated how they found Symphorosa’s corpse on his matrimonial bed with his genitals and intestines cut off.

Udeme, a 48-year-old lawyer, was on June 13, arraigned before an Igbosere High Court in Lagos, by the Lagos State Government on a two-count charge of murder and misconduct.

She pleaded not guilty and was remanded in Kirikiri prison.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, Symphorosa’s friend and neighbour, Mr Stanley Grange-Koko, was led in evidence by the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr Adeniji Kazeem (SAN).

He told the court how the deceased’s younger sister, Dr Anwuli Akwukwuma, called him at 2.00am on May 2, to go to the deceased’s (Symphorosa) house and check what was happening.

Grange-Koko said he rushed out of his car but could not gain access to the compound because no one answered when he knocked at the gate and called out the deceased’s name severally.

Grange-Koko said he went back to his house but rushed back to the deceased’s house the second time when Akwukwuma called him back.

“Dr Akwukwuma called me back and said I should go back to the deceased house because it seems life is involved.

“At this point, I went with my wife, also called the estate security men, we had to climb the fence into the deceased compound.

“We also broke down the front door to gain access to the house because no one answered our several knocks,” he said.

Grange-Koko said that he ran upstairs and saw blood on the floor, adding that he followed the blood trail to the bathroom and to the deceased room.

He said both him and the security men had to break the door to the deceased’s room.
“I saw the deceased lying on his bed with his wife (the defendant) lying beside him and there was blood everywhere.

“The deceased intestines were outside, I ran out and met the deceased sister coming up to the room, I tried to stop her from entering the room but she ran past me and entered,” Grange-Koko said.

He said the deceased sister ran out of the room shouting that her brother was dead but the defendant was breathing.

Grange-Koko said the defendant was, however, taken to hospital for further valuation.

After Grange-Koko’s evidence, the second witness, Dr Akwukwuma was called.

She narrated exactly what Grange-Koko had told the court but added that she called Grange-Koko because he was living in the same estate with the deceased and was a family friend to the deceased.

Akwukwuma also added that she got the information about the problem through her mother whom the deceased called earlier to complain that his wife was hitting him and had a knife.

She added “when I got to the deceased house and saw him lying on his bed with his intestines out, I checked him and saw that he was already cold and stretched out.

“I noticed that he had died for hours and he was holding something in his arm but I couldn’t see what it was because he was already stiff.

“The police told me that it was his genitals that he was holding and asked me if there was another person in the room when I got there, I answered no,” Akwukwuma narrated.

The prosecutor also called a third witness, a younger brother to the deceased, Mr Andrew Otike-Odibi, who narrated the same story.

After listening to the three witnesses, Justice Adedayo Akintoye adjourned the further hearing until Oct. 10.

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Zenith Bank Chairman, Jim Ovia Expresses Optimism For More Investments In The Nigerian Economy

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The Founder/Chairman of Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia has expressed optimism for more investments in the Nigerian economy.

This is coming few days ahead of the second-quarter earnings season with investors keen on expected future earnings as a guide to positioning for investments in the Nigerian market.

According to him, Nigeria is almost a virgin land, waiting for tremendous opportunities of investments in different sectors of the economy like banking, agriculture,and manufacturing, amongst others.

Citing Zenith Bank as an example. Mr. Ovia added that Zenith Bank, which started with a $4 million investment, has grown to $16 billion, recording thousands of percentage increase.

He made this statement during an interview with CNN Marketplace, where he addressed investors and entrepreneurs alike, stating that about 30 years ago, investments in Nigeria that could metamorphose to over 2000% growth were not prevalent.

Yet today, the country is brimming with businesses and startups that possess exponential scalability and more bubbling capabilities. He advised that investors should look out for promising sectors, consider larger investments and remain committed to growth.

Watch full interview below:

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Shut Up, Return All Stolen Money, Properties – Imo Governor, Ihedioha Blasts Okorocha

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The Governor of Imo State, Chief Emeka Ihedioha has told his predecessor, Rochas Okorocha, to shut up and return all government properties and monies, he and members of his family allegedly siphoned.

Okorocha was advised to toe the line instead of indulging in reckless utterances and blackmail gimmicks against Ihedioha.

This was contained in a statement on Sunday in Owerri, the State capital by Chief of Staff to Governor Ihedioha, Barr Chris Okewulonu.

Okewulonu was reacting to a statement credited to Okorocha wherein he asked Governor Ihedioha to stop running Imo as if he was still a lawmaker.

He said that the State was in a deplorable socio-economic political condition as a result of Okorocha’s visionlessness style of administration.

He described Okorocha as ”a braggart who is empty but claims to know everything. He is a Jack of trades but master of none. He should apologize to Imo people rather than seeking for cheap attention again after the horrible things he did in Imo “

Okewulonu said that “95% of the projects Okorocha claimed to have executed in Imo are either sub-standard or exist in his own imagination. Within a short time, Ihedioha’s achievements would dumb found Okorocha and his hirelings. The governor will not be distracted by the tantrums of a failure like Okorocha.

“I advise Okorocha to shut and stop disgracing himself further. He messed up Imo and left office in ignominy.

“Let him and his cronies first return all government properties and monies they illegally carted away before having the temerity to attempt blackmailing a government that is barely three weeks old. He who seeks for equity must first come with clean hands.”

“Okorocha’s hands are very dirty and he cannot, therefore, criticize Governor Ihedioha known for excellence in service delivery,” Okewulonu added.

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UBA Hinges Future Performance on Cost Efficiency, Improved Asset Quality

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has assured its local and international investors that it’s prudent focus on improved asset quality as well as the continuous adoption of strict cost efficient measures will help the bank achieve its objectives and priorities for the 2019 financial year and beyond.

This the bank has said will culminate into an institution with even stronger indices laced with the capacity to churn out strong double-digit growth in annuity-based trade services, enhanced offerings and improved customer service.

Already, the bank has instituted a number of enhanced risk management and control framework which have in no small measure contributed to its financial performances and overall balance sheet growth over the years.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who noted this in a submission while presenting the bank’s 2018 full year results during an international investor/ analysts conference call on Thursday, explained that UBA’s well diversified asset book supported by stable funding structure, placed it in a premium position to perform remarkably despite the falling economic indices in its operating environment.

He said, “In spite of slow recovery in economic activities in Nigeria (our single largest market), the Group’s total assets has grown by 19.7%, driven largely by a strong deposit growth of 23%, as the drive for retail deposits continue to yield desired results. Leveraging on enhanced customer service, the Group grew retail deposits by 48%, thus strengthening the funding base and providing the foundation for lower cost of funds in 2019.

“Notably, the growth in balance sheet also partly reflects the impact of exchange rate difference between the reporting dates (2017: N331/USD vs. 2018: N359/USD), as 37% of loans and 27% of overall balance sheet is FCY-denominated. The Group maintained its appetite for a well-diversified balance sheet, with over 60% in liquid, low risk instruments.”

Uzoka explained to the investors that the bank recorded impressive growths achieved across major financial lines, recording a 48 percent year-on-year growth in retail deposits and improved CASA ratio to 77 percent.

In its results for the year end December 2018, UBA gross earnings grew by 7.0 percent to N494.0 billion, compared to N461.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. The Bank’s total assets also grew significantly by 19.7 percent to an unprecedented N4.9 trillion for the year under review

Throwing more light on the financials, he stated that gross earnings grew by 7% year-on-year, despite regulation and market conditions undermined the non-interest income line. Interest income, which contributed 73% of gross earnings, grew by 11%, driven by strong interest income on treasuries, reflecting the low-risk appetite and treasury-led strategy adopted during the year. He noted that the lower non-interest income was occasioned by market condition and regulatory impact on FX trading income, adding that growing volume on FX trading is compensating for lower margin on this business, thus reinforcing our positive growth expectation on this income line in 2019.

While speaking on the strength of the financial institution in the coming years, especially on the back of it’s African and non-African subsidiaries, Uzoka said the bank’s recent foray into key markets and economies remain a milestone that will catapult the institution in the coming years.

He said, “UBA is a unique pan-African franchise with diversified risk and earnings across fast growing African economies with sound governance, risk management and compliance culture which can be seen from our adherence to international best practice. Our robust digital banking platform through which we are leveraging technology to serve over 15 million customers in a cost efficient approach that has helped to deepen African banking penetration.

“We have the strong financial capacity backed by high capitalization (BASEL II capital ratio well above requirement) and strong liquidity, and we have worked hard towards connecting Africa and the world through our presence in key African markets and major global financial centres such as New York, London and Paris.”

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