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Rape: IGP Orders Probe Of Policemen Who Arrested D’Banj’s Accuser

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the probe of the policemen who allegedly arrested Seyitan Babatayo, the lady that accused musician Oladapo Oyebanjo aka D’Banj of rape.

The IGP gave the order in a letter dated June 25, 2020, with reference number CZ:7050/IGP.SEC/ABJ/Vol. 132/978 signed on his behalf by his Principal Staff Officer, DCP Idowu Owohunwa.

The letter is titled, ‘Re: Petition Against Inspector Abraham, Supol Ugowe and the Entire Police Officers Team at Ikeja, Lagos Division of the Inspector General of Police’

The letter, which was addressed to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Garki, read in part, “I forward forthwith a copy of a letter dated June 18, 2020, with its attachment received from Ojoge, Omileye and Partners on the above subject.

“I am to respectfully convey the directive of the Inspector-General of Police that you deal with.”

The PUNCH reports that the letter of the IG was the sequel to a petition written by Seyitan’s lawyer, Ojoge, Omileye and Partners, last week.

In the petition, it was alleged that policemen attached to the Intelligence Response Team arrested Seyitan on the directive of D’Banj and detained her for over 24 hours.

It was alleged that she was denied access to her lawyers, her phone was seized and she faced psychological torture in the hands of the policemen.

The petition read in part, “On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, our client was picked up alongside a friend, Favour, at her residence in Lagos by the officers of the Ikeja IGP IRT. The arrest was without any warrant and neither our client nor her friend, Favour, was informed of the reasons for their arrest.

“According to our client, she was told to write a statement denying ever meeting with Mr. Oyebanjo (D’Banj) and to also state that she lied against the person of Mr. Oyebanjo. In actual fact, our client was about to write the statement which she believed would be a basis for her release when the counsel came in and stopped her from writing such a statement.

“The counsel further informed the policemen that all actions to the alleged rape of our client in December 2018 by Mr. Oyebanjo have been transferred to the DIG FCID for a thorough investigation and that they need to stay the action.”

The counsel was said to have told the policemen to release his client and he would bring her back to the station whenever the need arose.

According to the petition, the policemen, however, argued that Seyitan had not yet spent 24 hours in custody and as such, they could continue to hold her.

After hours of pleading, the lawyer was said to have left the police station to return the next day.

The lawyer, Tommy Ojoge-Daniel, alleged that D’Banj’s Manager, Damien Okoroafor, was physically present at the police office the next day.

He said by Okoroafor’s instigation, the police refused to release Seyitan and threatened to approach a magistrate court to obtain a remand order to detain Seyitan for two weeks.

The petition read, “On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the counsel went to the station as early as 7 am with a formal application for bail which was received at the admin section of the station and presented to the officers in charge of the IGP IRT.

“The process for the bail had started when one Damien Okoroafor who we latterly knew to be the manager of Mr. Oyebanjo came in and started ordering the officers of the Ikeja IGP IRT around and this made the officers retrace their steps and inform our client that they will not release her on bail.

“They said they were in the process of obtaining a warrant from a magistrate to detain our client for 14 days. The formal bail application was thereafter confiscated by the officers of the IGP IRT and the counsel was forced to release the acknowledged copy of the bail application to the officers of the IGP at the most unimagined duress.”

He said Seyitan was forced to delete all social media posts she had made about D’Banj and also make a public statement absolving D’Banj of rape which she did to gain her freedom.

Seyitan had accused D’Banj of raping her in Glee Hotel, Lagos in December 2018.

The kokomaster, however, denied the allegation and demanded an apology and N100m from his accuser.

BIG STORY

Financial Recklessness: Pondei, Other NDDC Staff Spent N5bn As Medical Allowances During Lockdown —- Senate Report [Full Breakdown]

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The Senate report on the alleged financial recklessness in the Niger Delta Development Commission has revealed how the top management of the agency shared N4.9bn among themselves in the guise of medical checkup.

The document also showed that the management paid N114.9m as a supplementary medical allowance to 26 staff members during the same period.

It stated that both disbursements were made when the nation was under lockdown to check COVID-19 spread.

The report was adopted and approved by the Senate shortly before it proceeded on its annual recess penultimate week.

A copy of the document obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Monday indicated that the monies were paid to the individual accounts in March and April this year.

The document indicated that the acting Managing Director, Daniel Pondei, and the two executive directors got N14.2m each.

The report noted that no such payment took place during the first Interim Management Committee led by Joi Nunieh.

It nonetheless, stated that available data showed that the allowance had been in existence even though it appeared to have no specific policy underpinning it.

The report stated, “The three members of the Interim Management Committee received the highest amount of N142m each.

“Two other people, namely Evan Caroline Nagbo and Ms Cecilia Akintomide, took N12,387,500 each, while Peter Uwa Edieya was paid N10,340,000.

The report further added that four other members of staff collected about N8m each while 140 others collected an average of N7m each.

The NDDC management also paid 75 others N6m each while 153 staff members were paid N5.5m.

Four other categories of staff were paid between N4.1m and N4.8m while seven others got about N3m each.

The document further indicated that 804 staff members collected between N2.4m and N2.9m each.

Apart from these, the document showed that the management paid N114.9m as a supplementary medical allowance to 26 staff members.

No fewer than 15 of them got N7m while one of them collected N5.2m.

The rest however collected between N375, 000 and N550, 000 each.

The report indicated that “payment to all the 1,401 staff who received the allowance was made on 16 March 2020.”

It added that the distribution of the payment category and the number of staff did not suggest a regular hierarchical pattern and an absence of clear policy, which raised suspicion of arbitrariness.

The report also stated that the NDDC management used staff members for the distribution of Lassa Fever kits.

It explained that Personal Protective Kits were given to the 185 LGAs of the Niger Delta states through the NDDC staff.

The staff members, according to the document, were paid various amounts, ranging from N300,000 to N6,845,000, on April 15, 2020, for the distribution of the kits.

The report stated, “The total amount used for the distribution is N55,090,000.

“Twenty-nine employees were engaged in ‘Monitoring of the Emergency Response Programme on Lassa Fever Outbreak at a cost of N5,972,500’.

“NDDC did not provide any returns on the end-user beneficiaries which would have helped in evaluating the accountability and transparency of the programme. There was also no mention of the original target beneficiaries.

“NDDC management did not provide details of allocation of the Lassa fever Protective Kits per each state and LGA and how the distributors were assigned as well as the collated report on the distribution exercise.

“They should have justified the huge amount of money allocated for the exercise.”

The report further added that by its own record. NDDC spent N808.9m as imprest between October 29 2019 and May 23. 2020.

It stated that “this covers a period of seven months during most of which the nation was on lockdown.

“Given that significant amount was also expended on travels, duty tour allowance during this period, payment of bills, it is difficult to justify this huge amount as imprest necessary for the services of the commission.”

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BIG STORY

mediaReach OMD Employs Data On Media Consumption To Aid Businesses In Navigating The New Normal

Peter Okunoren

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mediaReach OMD, a frontline marketing and media agency, had during this period of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, guided media planners, buyers, and businesses in their investment bid with data-driven newsletters on media consumption habit to maximize profits and increase productivity and to navigate the new normal.

Published in ThisDay Newspapers and titled “COVID-19 and Media Consumption Habit, What has Changed?,” the newsletters are a culmination of the sequence of information aimed at examining the potential impact of the pandemic on audience behaviour and media consumption in Nigeria.

It also contains thought starters and needed actions regarding adaptation of the definition of the new normal posed by the pandemic.

Against this backdrop, the Managing Director of the Agency, Nitinchandra Nandekar, said the firm has been monitoring changes in media consumption and adapting to innovative ways of connecting with the target audience, through data-led approaches to guide clients’ investments during the COVID-19 lockdown/post lockdown.

Nandekar avowed that while businesses, especially the marketing and media ecosystem waits for an end to this deadly disease which has dealt a hard blow on world economies, the journey to success will continue to be guided with key principles, including being ready for the day after.

The foremost media agency with presence in Nigeria, West, and Central Africa, posits that media consumption which is in favour of the TV continues to be stable with much attention on genres like news and entertainment, while businesses are now adopting a more creative and innovative form of operations with adaptation to the new normal.

Commending the media agency for these initiatives, the Chairman and Managing Director of Expand Global Industries Limited, Rajat Kapur, said as a global partner of Henkel for Media Investment Solutions, MediaReach OMD helps not only in the normal ways but regularly releases data-driven media intelligence information newsletters which ensure that Henkel is prepared to deal with the new normal characterised by the pandemic.

This, he said, contains the changing consumer habits, the higher need for hygiene-based products and the changing media landscape, all highlighted for a better clearer and stronger media investment leading to best in class equity development of Henkel’s brands.

In his remark, the President of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), Tony Agenmonmen, said the breakout of the pandemic has been a defining moment for the world.

He affirmed that the deadly disease came with uncertainty and fear because no one knows exactly what was going on, not even the experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO) which has been struggling a bit.

“A bewildered world therefore became anxious and hungry for news. And with the lockdowns in almost all parts of the world, consumers were hungry for information. They tried to stay connected to all the news about the pandemic and social media was the greatest beneficiary,” he said.

Agenmonmen continued “It helped that some brands understood this and were able to help in providing the information in ways that were not seen as exploiting the fears and worries of consumers. Six months down the line, it appears that the world has come to accept that we will have to live with it for an indeterminate while. The fears remain.”

On the importance of data to investment, the NIMN President remarked that without it, organisations cannot plan their daily activities properly. “Data is life, it is very critical in running your day-to-day investment. If you have the right data, then you are on the right path to success,” he avowed.

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BIG STORY

COVID-19: Air Peace Sacks 70 Pilots, Cuts Salaries By 40%

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A Nigerian airline, Air Peace, has sacked over 70 pilots across its fleet.

It also reduced staff salaries by up to 40 percent.

A member of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers disclosed this to one of our correspondents, craving anonymity.

The source said the number of sacked pilots was between 70 and 75 in total.

The management of the airline, however, linked the pilots’ disengagement to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pilots had, on July 22, protested a major pay cut after negotiations with the management over their remuneration broke down.

A statement issued on Monday by Mr. Stanley Olise, spokesperson of the airline, described the sacking of the pilots as “painful but rightful decision.”

Part of the statement read, “The airline cannot afford to toe the path of being unable to continue to fulfill its financial obligations to its staff, external vendors, aviation agencies, maintenance organizations, insurance companies, banks, and other creditors, hence the decision to restructure its entire operations with a view to surviving the times.

“The pandemic has hit every airline worldwide, so badly that it has become very impossible for airlines to remain afloat without carrying out an internal restructuring of their costs.

“Anything short of what we have done may lead to the collapse of an airline as could be seen in some places worldwide during this period. Therefore, we decided to review the salaries being paid to all staff.

“The new salaries reflect a zero per cent-40 percent cut of the former salary, depending on the salary grades of every staff. Even after the cuts, it was obvious that for us to be able to sustain our operations and survive the times, some jobs must inevitably have to go.

“Air Peace has never, for one day, ever owed salaries to its workers in its almost six years of existence, pilots inclusive. Rather, the management of Air Peace has always been known to be increasing salaries of its employees periodically, without being prompted by staff.

“In fact, in one fell swoop, Air Peace increased the salaries of pilots by over 100 percent in one day. Our salaries have always been paid even before the end of the month in the last five years.

“The decision is a reflection of the negative impact of the pandemic on airlines and aviation worldwide.

“We are in trying times. Even the biggest airlines in Europe, America, Middle East, Asia, Australia, and, indeed, Africa, are all either slashing jobs and cutting salaries in order to remain afloat or are shutting down.

“Air Peace is not immune from these challenges.”

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