Lagos court refuses to void PDP congress polls

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has refused to grant an application by some aggrieved members of the Lagos chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking an order voiding the congress held by the party in the Lagos on Saturday.

The aggrieved members of the party, led by Alhaji Imam Akorede, are before Justice Mohammed Liman and are challenging, among other things, the propriety of said congress despite an order of the court stopping it.

Through their counsel, Olumide Sofowora, the members today asked the court to sanction the defendants for conducting the congress despite Fridays order of the court directing that it be put on hold.

Joined as defendants in the suit are; Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro, Chief (Mrs) Dupe Sasore, Chief Ayo Waddel, Dr. Lekan Sobowale, Prince Adegboyega Oyebola, Chief Lanre Osundairo, Engineer Tunji Amosu and Hon. Alhaji Wahab Wale Owokoniran.

They were all sued as members of the PDP transition, reconciliation and congress committee.

Other defendants are: Hon. Setonji Koshoedo(Chairman, Lagos PDP), Captain Tunji Shele(Secretary, Lagos PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Baraje (PDP National Chairman), Hon. Secondus (PDP National Organising Secretary), Prof. Attahiru Jega (INEC Chairman), Lagos State INEC Commissioner, Lagos State Commissioner of Police and the Director of State Security Services.

The aggrieved members specifically asked the court to restrain those elected on Saturday from acting in that capacity until the determination of the case.

While the lawyers to some of the defendants have acknowledged service of the court order and promptly stayed away from the polls, Rotimi Ogunjobi, lawyer to the former PDP Lagos Chairman and secretary, Setonji Koshoedo and Tunji Shelle, denied that his clients were served with the court’s order.

After listening to arguments from the lawyers, and the court’s baliff, charged with effecting service of the court order, Justice Liman declined the plaintiffs’ lawyer’s application to either void the result of the congress or restrain officials elected from it from parading themselves in that capacity.

The judge based his ruling on the fact that some of the defendants were not served with the court’s order and processes. The court then granted the plaintiffs’ application for substituted service, via newspaper publication, on the defendants yet to be served before adjourning to the 26th of March for report of service and possible hearing of the substantive suit.

Porsche targets rich Nigerians’ love for luxury

Nigeria’s super rich are no strangers to conspicuous consumption, and there’s no better way to flaunt your wealth than by buying a brand new European sports car.

German carmaker Porsche officially opened a new car dealership on Friday in the heart of Lagos’ wealthiest district, Victoria Island, a place with one of the world’s highest concentrations of millionaires.

There are already dealerships specialising in Aston Martin and Lamborghini, but Porsche hopes to capitalise on a promise of providing sturdier vehicles that can cope with Nigeria’s rough roads. Its presence is being seen as a vote of confidence in the West African nation’s fast-growing economy.

Porsche also plans to set up an operation in the capital Abuja, where roads are newly built – a better market for the 911 sports model – and where politicians are amongst the world’s most highly paid.

“The African continent, and in particular Nigeria, is of growing importance to us at Porsche,” the company’s Middle East and Africa head George Wills said, unveiling the new 911 model.

High-end goods producers are increasingly targeting sub-Saharan Africa, as its economic growth starts to dwarf other continents and rich Western countries face a slowdown.

Nigeria, Africa’s second biggest economy, grew 7.68 percent in the last quarter of 2011, one of the fastest in the world.

Two of Africa’s top five richest men are Nigerian.

“We’re quite confident the numbers will be strong,” Wills told Reuters in front of the new 911 sports car, after a Porsche official revved its engine for flashing cameras.

“It’s difficult to put a finite number on it, but certainly enough to give a return on this investment,” he added.

Porsche Nigeria general manager Julian Hardy estimates 200 Nigerians own Porsches – the dealership had been running prior to the official launch since July and sold an undisclosed number, and rich Nigerians have been importing them for decades.

THE RICHER RICH

At a party to celebrate Porsche’s launch, Nigerians in sharp suits and cocktail dresses drank martinis and danced around the 911 display model to live music.

“You can drive around Lagos … then take your car to the race track and become a beast and go wild,” said Emmanuel Ngala, an IT consultant who owns a Cayenne 4×4 and is buying a 911.

The firm’s sales target for 2012 is 100 cars, and it hopes to hit a stable sales rate of around 300 a year, compared with 800 in South Africa. Average prices currently range between 21 million naira to 30 million naira.

The oil wealth of Africa’s biggest producer has made multi-millionaires of its elite in the past few decades, even while absolute poverty has increased to 60 percent of the population.

Lagos embraces some of Africa’s most expensive real estate alongside some of its most crowded slums. On one street, a Hummer drives past a tramp sifting through a dustbin.

The car park at the Porsche show rooms has several models.

“It’s a nice car,” said employee Mohammed Ibrahim, as he hosed down a chrome coloured Cayenne and shined it to a sparkle with a cloth. On his 20,000 naira a month salary it would take him 125 years to afford one if he didn’t buy anything else.

“God might give me a car like this one day. He can do that, if he wants to. He can do anything,” he said, grinning.

BIG MEN AND MOTORS

Sandwiched between the lagoon that led Portuguese sailors to name this city ‘Lagos’ and the Atlantic, Victoria Island is a place of fund managers in fine woollen suits and oil oligarchs.

The faces of glamorous women smile from billboards advertising mobile phones. Luxury 4x4s are everywhere.

But it has scant electricity, most roads are sandy, potholed and patrolled by beggars in rags. Poor drainage means they flood – in the rainy season, fishermen sometimes traverse them by canoe, raising doubts about the practicality of sports cars like a 911.

Other luxury brands have however made it big in Nigeria. It is a significant African market for LVMH. Most bars can get you Moet & Chandon champagne or Hennessy brandy, which women sip next to their Louis Vuitton handbags.

The “Auto Lounge” in Victoria Island lets you enjoy an expensive drink overlooking a garage of Aston Martins.

Paris-based magazine Jeune Afrique last year placed Nigeria at the top of Africa’s champagne consumers, guzzling 593,000 bottles in 2010, 50 percent more than richer rival South Africa.

REUTERS

Lagos demolishes Apapa Amusement Park

The Lagos state government has shut the Apapa Amusement Park and demolished some of its structure due to environmental and security reasons.

The demolition was carried out by the State Task Force on Environmental and a team of policemen on Sunday morning after shop owners made a last minute evacuation of their goods, including burglaries, roof sheets and office furniture.
The chairman of the Task Force, Bayo Suleiman, who led the operation, said the action was taken to return the park to its former glory.
According to him, those who were handed the management of the park had converted some of its section to burial grounds for their dead relatives.He also said there was growing concerns about the security of the place, noting that the state government will not compromise its security policy.
Mr. Suleiman alleged that “some of the properties within the park have even been bought and they cut off some parts of the land and sell it off.”
No fewer than 44 buildings were affected by the demolition, including a building housing the Redeemed Christian Church of God in the park.

12 Guinness Nigeria workers docked for stealing N6.4 million in booze

The contract workers, who are drivers for the company, were brought up on a 13-count charge, including stealing, conspiracy and more, for making away with cartons of Guiness Stout.

The accused, Prosecutor Samuel Omoyeni told the court, had diverted cartons of beer earmarked for customers between 20 January 2011 and 20 December 2011.

“The Guinness products were entrusted in their care for safety delivery at plot Y, Mobolaji Johnson Ave., Ikeja, and other areas of Lagos state.

“But, they diverted some of the products and pocketed the money for their own use,” Omoyeni said.

However, the drivers have pleaded not guilty of the charges levelled against them.

Magistrate M.O Olubi granted each of the accused bail in the sum of N100,000 and adjourned the case to 26 April.

Jonathan commissions first local content oil and gas project

In line with its transformation agenda of the Nigerian economy especially the oil and gas sector, President Goodluck Jonathan, has commissioned the NNPC/MPN Satellite Field Development Project Platforms, the first local content project in oil and gas sector with 100 percent Nigerian input.

In his speech at the commissioning of the multimillion dollar platforms tagged Abang & Itut, held on Friday at Nigerdock, Nigeria Plc, Snake Island Integrated Free Zone, Lagos, President Jonathan noted that the project was the first fruit of the Local Content Bill, which he signed into law in April 2010.

“I am happy that the local content drive that I stared when I was a deputy governor is taking shape today. With the two platforms fabricated and installed with 100 percent Nigerian manpower and content by Nigerdock and Jagal Group for ExxonMobil Production, Nigerian oil & gas sector will no longer depend on Asia, Europe and America for facility procurement and manpower. With the development, we have started a journey that will set our oil & gas sector on a pedestal of global competitiveness and growth.”

The president also promised more legislative support and provision of enabling environment for more investments in the sector. He later laid the foundation of the Skillbase, Lagos Deep Water Shore base, at Nigerdock aimed at providing manpower for the oil and gas sector.

In her remarks, Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of Petroleum Resources, noted that the commissioning was an enviable milestone in the sector because of the over dependent of the sector on Asia, Europe and other countries of the world for facilities, procurements, and even manpower.

She noted that with the development and more that will follow, Nigerian oil and gas sector stands a better chance of looking inwards and doing business more competitively as cost of doing business and of such facilities hitherto imported are now reduced.

Nigeria is yet to be a Maritime Nation-NIMASA D.G.

The agency has been enabled with this approval to monitor exportation from Nigeroa and importation of petroleum products by ships and vessels.

The Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has however been criticise over the approval by the Federal Government.

Is there actually any gain in this approval by the FG?

Watch as the Direcor General of NIMASA; Mr.Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokimi speaks on this and other issues.

Christie Brown, House of Farrah, Da Silva and more at the Arise Magazine Fashion Week (Photos)

Fashion lovers, sit back, relax and take in more photographs from the Arise Magazine Fashion Week in Lagos last week. Africa’s biggest fashion event, hosted by ThisDay and ARISE magazine put some of Africa’s most brilliant designers on the world map.

We will be releasing photographs of the fabulous fashions that rocked the runway in bits. Designers from London, India, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria showcased their creations at this mega event.

Davida (Nigeria)

Jil (Ghana)

Poisa (Kenya)

House of Farrah (Nigeria)

Christie Brown (Ghana)

Phunk Afrique (Nigeria)

Kezia Frederick

Buki Akib

Hassan Mustaphali (India)

Romero Bryan

Prey of London

Lanre DaSilva (Nigeria)

Fashola shuts out visitor’s vehicle at secretariat

Hundreds of vehicles belonging to those visiting the Lagos state secretariat have been shut out by the Lagos State Government as “a proactive measure” against the menace of Boko Haram.
Reports say the state government began the ‘no sticker, no entry’ policy for vehicles into its’ state secretariat on Wednesday, without making adequate stickers available for its workforce. Sources at the secretariat said the stickers that were only given to the senior staff while the majority were left empty-handed. To ensure compliance, the entrance to the secretariat was blocked by officials of the Vehicle Inspection Office, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, to stop vehicles that did not have the state government stickers from entering the secretariat. As a result of the action, roads in areas around the secretariat including Ikeja, Oregun, Agidingbi, Secretariat end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Mobolaji Johnson Avenue were blocked with vehicles, which led to a gridlock. Fashola had in February issued an executive order that only vehicles with new government stickers would be allowed into the secretariat because of the Boko Haram menace, though the take-off date wasn’t indicated. Before the order, five of the seven entrances to the secretariat had been shut permanently, leaving only one entrance and one exit. Also, three makeshift mosques in the secretariat were demolished, while Christian worshipers were ordered to relocate from the premises.

Lagos to seize clothes spread in open places

The Lagos state government says it would start to seize clothes spread on balcony railings, along major highways, bridges, railings on landscape sites, walkways and other open public spaces across the state.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Tunji Bello, who made the declaration on Wednesday during an inspection tour to some areas in the state, said those who engaged in the “uncivilised acts” would be prosecuted according to the state sanitation laws.
According to him, public buildings, bridges and residential buildings along major highways in the state, especially on Kingsway and Awolowo roads are often used by citizens to spread their clothes.
“Some of the private and government buildings on these routes have been turned into drycleaners lines for the spreading of washed clothes along many highways and inner streets. This act is also noticeable in areas where we have large concentration of mechanic workshops as well as along drainage alignments”, he said.
The commissioner urged residents to spread their washed clothes within the confines of their environment, instead of littering public places. He further admonished landlords to educate their security guards on the implications of the act, saying the government would not hesitate to apply the full sanctions of sanitation laws on any culprit.

Technicolour shorts and red bob wigs; Re Bahia at the Arise Magazine Fashion Week

Designer Re Bahia gave us big bold colour on the runway at the Arise Magazine Fashion Week and we aren’t talking about the red bob wigs that the models rocked down the runway.

From the delicate tiered lacy dress to sexy curve-hugging shorts and that high-waisted skirt with a thigh-high slit, every design was a feast for the eyes, each one as exciting as the last. The young UK/Nigerian designer displayed a fearless fashion sense, embracing colours and odd pairing, matching polka dots with a vibrant hues. Not a show you are likely to forget. Photos below!

Day 1: Meena designs for the “adventurous” at the Arise Magazine Fashion Week

MeenaMeena, the design label created by Nigerian fashion designer Uju Offiah, was also up on the runway at the Arise Magazine Fashion Week 2012. Meena launched in December 2010, with gorgeous Ready-to-wear pieces and made to measure services.

The creative director behind the label, Offiah, a protege of Nigerian designer Ituen Basi, is a fast rising star in the Nigerian fashion industry. Her fans include top Nollywood screen queens, Ini Edo and Genevieve Nnaji.

Uju Offiah describes the “Meena lady” as adventurous and conservative. “Conservative because she does not want her femininity to be portrayed wrongly. Adventurous because she refuses to follow trends but rather carves out a stylish niche for herself which she exudes confidently.”

See photos from her collection at the AMFW 2012 below.

Day 1: Toju Foyeh rocks the runway at Arise Magazine Fashion Week

Fashion Designer Toluwaloju Olowofoyeku got the spotlight at the Arise Magazine Fashion Week 2012 with her design label Toju Foyeh. The Milan trained Nigerian designer featured sassy, flirty looks in her glitz and glam collection.

Toju Foyeh, who launched her first collection in Lagos at the Arise Magazine Fashion Week last year, is back for seconds and the rising fashion designer is quickly rising to prominence in Nigeria’s fashion scene.

Her fans include A-list celebrity Tiwa Savage who has been spotted wearing Toju Foyeh in a few photo shoots. See some of her looks from Thursday’s show below!

Toju Foyeh hopes to open flag ship stores in Lagos, New York and London.