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Iwuanyanwu: I’m ‘Balogun Babaguwan’ *My daughter is married to Yoruba *I’ve four Yoruba grandchildren  



Elder statesman, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, on Monday flaunted his title of Balogun Babaguwan of Ibadan, other numerous titles, the marriage of one of his daughters and four grandchildren, as well as numerous business links, as proof of his robust affinity to the Yoruba people of the South West.

He did as a way of putting a lie to the twist given to the comment he made in Awka, on Saturday, where his reference to those who perpetrated the March 18 governorship election as Yoruba rascals, is being interpreted to mean that he was dragging the entire race, adding that nothing could be farther than the truth.

In a statement he personally signed, Iwuanyanwu, who spoke as the Chairman of the Elders Council of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Igbo socio-cultural association, explained that all he had tried to do was to calm Ndigbo, who were directly affected by the mayhem that their ordeals were not sanctioned by the Yoruba people as a group and to continue to go about their business.

The statement, read in full: “My attention has been drawn to a fake news circulating on social media completely misrepresenting the statement I made at Awka Anambra State in connection to the killings, destruction of properties and harassment of Igbo in Lagos during the recent elections. My statement was covered live by Arise Television, Channels and many other electronic and print media houses. All Nigerians of goodwill who care should get the true transcript of my statement from any of these media houses.

“I want to make it abundantly clear that at no time did I make the statement credited to me by blackmail circulating on the social media that the Yoruba are political rascals as this was fraudulently manipulated. I want to warn all perpetrators of this fake news that it is a criminal offence to circulate fake news against a peace-loving Nigerian. For the avoidance of doubt, I am a senior citizen who has meritoriously served Nigeria. “Nigeria in appreciation has also honoured me with three National Honours namely: MEMBER FEDERAL REPUBLIC (MFR), OFFICER FEDERAL REPUBLIC (OFR), and COMANDER FEDERAL REPUBLIC (CFR). In my State Imo, I have been honoured with GRAND COMMANDER STATE of IMO (GCSI). By this my name is in the hall of fame in Imo State. The Seven Igbo Speaking States namely: Rivers, Delta, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States have also honoured me with the Traditional Title of AHAEJIAGAMBA NDIGBO. I am indeed the first Igbo man to be so honoured. As a professional Engineer, I have been honoured with numerous merit Awards including institution of an annual lecture series in my name by my Colleagues in appreciation of my contributions to Engineering, Science Society and Humanity. I am the Grand Patron of many youth organisations in the Country.

“Most of my close friends who have influenced my business and professional life are from Northern and Western parts of Nigeria.

For instance, I am the Balogun Babaguwan of Ibadan land. I have also been honoured with Chieftaincy titles by numerous Yoruba Obas. I am no doubt an honorary citizen of Yoruba land. I have many personal friends and staff of my various companies including directors who are Yorubas.

“Most of them played major roles in shaping my economic destiny. I therefore do not have any reason whatsoever to insult Yoruba tribe whom I regard with great respect. What I did at the ceremony was to admonish Igbo who felt threatened by various attacks in Lagos that they have no cause to worry because there are no problems between Igbo and Yorubas. I therefore told them to stay in Lagos and go about their normal businesses. I did however mention to them that the attackers are political rascals and their action does not reflect the good relationship between Yoruba and Igbo.

“Having said this, on a personal note, I must comment as follows: I felt very sad that a Nigerian should be denied his democratic right to vote any candidate of his choice because of his tribe. What happened to the Igbo in Lagos was in the press and the Igbo are very grateful to those distinguished and well meaning Yoruba who rose up to speak against the killings, injuries and destruction of properties of Igbo in Lagos only because they voted the candidates of their choice.

“Ironically, some of the Igbo who lost their properties and who were wounded were not only members of Labour Party but that of some other political parties. This is because I am aware that most Igbo in Lagos voted for the incumbent Governor who in their opinion said the Governor did well in the past four years and deserves to be given another opportunity. Ohanaeze Ndigbo does not own any political party and we do not control any political party where our members belong.

“In effect people are free to choose, work for, and vote for any political party of their choice and that’s why Igbo are virtually in all the political parties in the Country. I don’t have any doubt in my mind that the peddlers of this fake news are part of the syndicates that brought misery and sadness to the Igbo resident in Lagos. I am appealing to the Yoruba to fish them out and know that they are portraying the Yoruba in a bad light.

“On Personal basis, one of my best daughters is married to a prominent Yoruba family in Ibadan, Oyo State. My son in Law and his wife have lived together for over 20 years. This Union has produced four adorable children. I am very proud of my son-in-law. The children of this marriage are Yoruba and not Igbo by our culture and tradition. I will not be happy if at any time any group of people discriminate against them in Yoruba land because their mother is Igbo. Over the years many Yoruba and Igbo families have intermarried. It is therefore very important to all men of goodwill to arrest the present situation which if not arrested may cause social unrest.”


Panic! Gunmen storm Anambra Assembly, attempt to bundle away lawmaker



Panic-stricken members of the Anambra State House of Assembly, watched in utter horror on Thursday as one of their colleagues was bundled into a waiting vehicle, by four gun-wielding men, preparatory to being whisked away, before mother-luck came calling.

It took the quick reflexes of security guards at the entrance who locked the gate, to prevent the armed men, who later turned out to be operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) from completing the operation.

The target of the operatives was Onyekachukwu Ike, the House of Assembly-elect member for the Nnewi North constituency, who had joined in the valedictory session for outgoing members, though it is not known why the members of the agency were after him.

Eyewitness account, said the operatives arrived the Assembly complex in three vehicles in a commando version, grabbed the member-elect as he emerged from the venue validectory thanksgiving mass for the seventh Assembly and forced him into their waiting vehicle.

However, it took the eagle-eyed members of the security team of the assembly to truncate the attempt to drive the lawmaker away, because they quickly locked the exit gate, thus halting the operation, as it gave people the opportunity to intervene.

Reacting to the incident, Acting Clerk of the Assembly, Esther Aneto, who bemoaned the manner the operatives carried out the operation, said neither the authorities of the assembly, nor the police was informed about it.

It took the intervention of the Speaker, Uche Okafor, and the Deputy Governor, Onyeka Ibezim, who came to represent the Governor at the Valedictory session before the member-elect was released from the vice grips of the DSS operatives, who however, explained that they had a court order to arrest him.


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Judge orders Yahoo-Yahoo student to clean EFCC premises for two weeks



Justice Aliyu Shafa, of the Federal High Court, Gwagwalada, Abuja, on Thursday ordered a student, Istifanus Irmiya, to clean the premises of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for for two weeks, after he was convicted for internet fraud.

Irmiya, who was docked by the EFCC on a two-count charge, boarding on cheating and impersonation, was also ordered to pay a fine of N100,000, while the phone he used in committing the offence was to be destroyed and burnt.

This was after the culprit, pleaded guilty to the charges and begged the court for leniency, which the court accepted, but insisted that he must carry out the punishment of cleaning the EFCC premises from 9 a.m. to 12 noon daily for two weeks, to teach him a lesson.

Frowning at the rate internets fraud were being committed, Shafa, said: “I have carefully listened to the plea of allocutus made by the convict and the defence counsel. The rate of internet fraud through Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, among others in the society is so alarming.

“That he is a first time offender is not an excuse to go scot-free. The rate of Yahoo-Yahoo among youths is alarming. “Many who resort to crime always have ‘I want to get rich quick’ mindset. Sending him to prison might make him more hardened,” the judge ruled.

Irmiya, who pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy, promising that he would not indulge in such acts again, said: “I want to beg the court for mercy. I’m deeply sorry for what I have done. I’m a changed person now knowing fully well the consequences of my offence.”

Chibuike Chima, his lawyer, who echoed his pleas, told the court that Irmiya had no previous conviction record and was also remorseful, saying: “Irmiya is the only son of the family and he is seeking admission into the university. He has spent one month in EFCC custody.
“The convict has shown remorse and genuinely repented over the crime he has committed by way of expressing genuine repentance, he has restituted the proceeds of crime which is the sum of 250 Euros. The convict is a first-time offender. He has not be convicted for any other crime of whatever kind. We urge my lord to tamper justice with mercy. We assure this court that going forward, the convict will be of good behaviour.”

The EFCC Counsel, Taiwo Aromolaran, who told the court that Irmiya had sometime in 2022 within the jurisdiction of the court cheated by personation, said that the convict deceived his victim while pretending to be one mistress Clara a female Caucasian.

She said that the convict carried out an illegal act, making one Alex Lexis, a German, to send him the sum of 250 Euros which he received via PayPal and Nosh Apps before transferring the money to his own account domiciled with Polaris Bank.

She said that the convict sometime in 2022, also had in his possession documents containing false-pretence, where he represented himself as a German on his Facebook and KK accounts, created by him with the intent to induce Alex Lexis to deliver money to him.

She said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 321 of the Penal Code Act of the Federation (Abuja), 1990 and punishable under Section 324 of the same Act, adding that Section 6 in conjunction with Section 8 of the advance-fee fraud and other related offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

Pleading with the court that the cell phone being the instrument used for the crime should be forfeited, Aromolaran urged the court to take into consideration the increase in the menace of internet frauds in Nigeria.

Bewailing the menace fraudsters had caused to the image of the country and to their victims, she told the court that Irmiya and his group, operated as syndicates, saying: “They believe that merely coming to court and pleading guilty is enough to attract the sympathy of the court.”


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BREAKING: Tinubu, hosts G-5 govs at Villa *Intensifies moves to break PDP



It is becoming obvious that President Bola Tinubu, may be working hard to break the ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as he is currently hosting the five former Governors of the party who former the G-5 Integrity Group, a very powerful bloc in the main opposition party that fought against the ticket of the party.

Nyesom Wike, former Governor of Rivers State, who was the arrowhead of the G-5, comprising Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Samuel Ortom of Benue, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu and Seyi Makinde of Oyo, was seen leading the other members to the Presidential Villa, for a meeting with Tinubu, on Thursday afternoon.

The group had vehemently opposed the ticket of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2023 presidential election and refused to join the campaigns on the ground that the former Vice President did not support the ouster of Iyorchia Ayu, then National Chairman of the party on the ground that he came from the same North as him.

Incidentally, the meeting is coming few hours after Caleb Mutfwang Governor of Plateau State and Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom, both PDP governors at the same State House Abuja, in what observers are already interpreting as an attempt to woo the top echelon of the opposition party.

The meeting with the G-5 governors, shortly after that of Tinubu with the two PDP governors, is coming as the party and Atiku Abubakar, are trying to prove before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), sitting in Abuja that Tinubu did not win the 2023 presidential election.

Details later…

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