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BIG STORY

How Relatives, Others Exposed Amputee Hawker’s Lies + Lagos Govt Denies Seizing N25m Donation

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If not for family members and others who wanted their share of the cash donations, amputee sachet water hawker Mary Daniel’s lies would not have been exposed.

Miss Daniel claimed that her parents were dead, but some of her relatives seeking a share of the over N25m donated to her by Nigerians said she lied.

The 26-year-old also did not say the truth about being an orphan.

A source close to the Lagos State government told The Nation that “some of these discrepancies started emerging on her birthday. Some things were observed that did not add up. Then, the strange calls. She also refused for her child to be brought to Lagos”.

The source added: “Later she came up and said she wanted to go alone to bring the child and those managing her refused since it was not safe to travel. Then, she was taken to where she should learn a skill but she refused. It was clear she just wanted to leave the state. With the information at the disposal of the state government, she was disallowed from travelling alone.

“She was first handed over to the Social Welfare Department but when they complained about accommodation and the Igala traditional ruler in Lagos indicated interest to take her, she was handed over to him.”

When The Nation contacted the leader of Igala community in Lagos State, Chief Sanni Yakubu Ejima, he confirmed that Miss Daniel was in his custody.

The Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, in a statement yesterday, said Miss Daniel was kept in protective custody to shield her from possible fraudsters, adding that the ultimate desire of government was to ensure she became a responsible citizen.

According to Adebowale, “she now has the resources to take care of herself and her baby. She can now have a new lease of life”.

She explained that the police were brought in to demonstrate that the state had taken good care of Ms. Daniel while its officials and to ensure her safety thereafter.

Princess Adebowale added that a committee would oversee Miss Daniel’s rehabilitation and ensure that the donated funds were judiciously utilised for the improvement of her standard of living.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy Gbenga Omotoso denied that the state was preventing Ms. Daniel from accessing her money.

He said: “We have handed over Mary Daniel to representatives of her Igala, Kogi State community here in Lagos. The handing over was done in the presence of representatives of the Ministries of Justice; Youth and Social Development, and police and a Non-Governmental Organisation.

“Government took the step to shield Ms. Daniel from possible fraudsters who may target the funds donated to her by well-meaning Nigerians. She is also free to set up her dream supermarket in Lagos since it was here that fortune smiled on her. This is a confirmation that Lagos is a land of hope and opportunities. A committee was also set up to ensure the funds are utilised judiciously.”

BIG STORY

I Became Poorer After Ruling Imo For Eight Years —– Rochas Okorocha

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Former Imo Governor Rochas Okorocha has claimed he became poorer after ruling the state for eight years.

He stated this during an interview on Channels Television.

Okorocha, who represents the Imo West senatorial district, denied allegations he acquired properties with government funds.

He explained he had always been a successful person before coming into office in 2011 and dared anyone to come forth with evidence that he mismanaged funds meant for the government.

He said: “I challenge anybody to prove that I acquired any property with any government fund.

“I think people have forgotten that I was Rochas before becoming the governor of Imo State; I think they have forgotten completely.

“If anything, becoming a governor made me even poorer than what I was in the past. I don’t know whether I acquired any property here in Abuja, there is none.”

He stated that during his two-term as Governor, he built the best international cargo airport and police command in the country as well as 27 hospitals, a new Government House, a new Court, and a new prison complex, among others.

Speaking on his encounter with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), he said: “I said to them (EFCC) that I have not come to respond to your call because there is already a matter in court and once a matter is sub judice, you cannot talk about it.

“Imo State government has taken me to court on the same subject matter and we are at the Federal High Court in Abuja on the same subject matter.

“EFCC is doing their job because if there is no report, they can’t nose into whatever you are doing; EFCC is not witch-hunting, they are acting on a petition being written by somebody.”

 

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BIG STORY

I’ve Not Declared Interest In 2023 Presidential Race —– Osinbajo

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The Office of the Vice President says permutations around the 2023 presidential race are a distraction as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has not declared interest to contest.

Laolu Akande, the spokesperson to Mr Osinbajo, said in a statement on Monday in Abuja that the Office of the Vice President had no connection with an online attempt to rally support for him (Osinbajo).

“The attention of the Office of the Vice President has been drawn to a website: supportosinbajo.ng that is calling on Nigerians to join a volunteer group mobilizing support for Osinbajo ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

“Details of this website and the solicitation of the group are currently trending on WhatsApp with a suggestion that Osinbajo has “quietly” declared interest in the 2023 election.

“The Office of the Vice President is not in any way connected to this website or the group behind it and considers such an enterprise an unnecessary distraction.

“Osinbajo has not declared any interest whatsoever in the 2023 election; but he is rather focused on working in his capacity as vice president in the current administration to address all the compelling issues in the country and concerns of Nigerians, including finding effective and lasting solutions to the security challenges.

“Therefore, we ask that people desist from such unhelpful permutations while we all deal together with the challenges confronting us as Nigerians, and resolve them for the benefit of our people, peace, and prosperity in the land.’’

Mr Osinbajo was the running mate of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections.

He had served as attorney general and commissioner for justice in the administration of former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, who is reputed to be his political ally.

There are indications that Mr. Tinubu is warming up to run for president in 2023, though he is yet to confirm it.

 

(NAN)

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: EFCC Takes Over Nestoil Boss, Ernest Azudialu’s Ikoyi Residence

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Nestoil and NECONDE Boss, Ernest Azudialu, is caught up in the turbulence of steep and unforgiving commerce and the sad fact is that he lacks the instinct and judgment required to wade through the scary storm.

Yes, the truth dawned on the Anambra State-born flamboyant dude in a moment of profound terror.

According to The Capital, Azudialu’s massive mansion located in the pristine and prosperous Modupe Alakija Crescent formerly known as Ikoyi Crescent has been sealed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

A reporter who was at the house affirmed that the anti-graft agency’s red ink embarrassingly announcing that the property was under investigation is boldly written on the building.

Whether Azudialu and his family can access the home is, however, not certain as at press time. What is sacrosanct, though, is that the property he calls home is now a subject of investigation by the EFCC.

This is coming at a time when the residents of the very serene and exclusive neighbourhood and Lagosians conversant with happenings in high society felt that what happened to Festus Fadeyi, the chairman of Pan Ocean Corporation, an indigenous independent oil and gas company, would not have an encore there. Fadeyi’s mouth-watering mansion, which had served as his family home for several decades in the same street, was confiscated by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, last year. The federal government agency took over Fadeyi’s Pan Ocean Corporation’s assets and its subsidiaries over bank loans totaling about N240billion.

Now, it is the turn of Nestoil’s Azudialu. This has left high-profile residents of Ikoyi shell-shocked because he was perceived to be a decent businessman despite his la Vida loca lifestyle. Although the reasons behind the EFCC’s action are sketchy, there are speculations that he is under investigation for financial crimes.

A while ago, he ran into stormy waters with a foremost commercial bank, which solely financed his Nestoil Towers straddling Akin Adesola and Saka Tinubu Streets in Victoria Island.

The allegation then was that he defaulted in servicing the facility that he obtained to build the towers.

In the past dispensation of former President Goodluck Jonathan, he benefited from juicy contracts and basked in luxury accruable from his position as Nestoil boss and a player in Nigeria’s oil industry. As cool cash flowed into his accounts, Ernest developed a taste for expensive luxury and soon he was known for his obsession with aircraft and his penchant for acquiring private jets and pricey automobiles.

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