Women Basketball League: Air Warriors Emerge 2019 Champions 

 

Air Warriors have been crowned the 2019 Zenith Bank Women Basketball League Champions after a hard earned victory over MFM Queens 55-53 points in the final decided at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium Lagos.

The league debutants who dominated the first half, won the first quarter 14-7 points before going into half time with 34-23 points on the back of a second quarter which they also won 20-17 points.

It was a different ball game in the second half with both teams scoring 12 points each.

It was a case of too little too late for MFM Queens under Coach Aderemi Adewunmi despite winning the last quarter 17-9 points.

Murjanatu Musa of Air Warriors posted another double-double display with 17 points, 15 rebounds and 3 assists to win the title for her side.

She also picked the Most Valuable Player of the League for the 2019 Zenith Bank Women Basketball League season.

Murjanatu was listed alongside Ifunanya Okoro (First Bank), Gbihi Cynthia (Dolphins), Josette Anaswem (Customs) and Ifunanya Ijeh (MFM Queens) as the Tournament’s Top 5.

For individual awards, Jossette Anaswem emerged as tournament’s highest point scorer as well as the Three Points shooter.

Murjanatu won the Highest Rebounder and Highest Blocks award while Ifunanya Okoro settled for Assists and Steal leader as her team became the fourth  team to have ever won the league in the last 15 years.

Both teams have qualified for the FIBA Zone 3 Women Club Championship qualifiers holding in Cotonou, Benin Republic.

First Bank coasted to a comfortable 45 points win against Dolphins to win the bronze medal.

Zenith Bank Women Basketball League National Final 8: Air Warriors To Face MFM Queens

 

 

Records were meant to be set and broken and that was what Air Warriors and MFM Queens achieved as they will be meeting in the final of the Zenith Bank Women Basketball League National Final 8 on Thursday.

Air Warriors defeated defending Champions, First Bank in the first semi-final of the Zenith Bank Women Basketball League Final 8.

Despite leading for the better part of the game, First Bank surrendered their title with a one-point loss, 61-62 points.

Blessing Kasham dropped 18 points and two rebounds while Chinwe Okah recorded 13 points, one assist and four rebounds in a game that went down to the wire.

Rebound Queen, Murjanatu Musa, had 17 rebounds, three assists and nine points.

In the second semi-final, MFM Queens defeated Dolphins.

Having lost to Dolphins earlier in their group B encounter, the Olukoya Babes came determined against 2018 finalists to clinch a last-minute 58-53 point win.

Although Gbihi Cynthia scored 20 points for Dolphins, combined efforts of Ezebilo Grace with 17 points, 2 assists and 11 rebounds alongside Ijeh Ifumnanya’s 11 points gave MFM Queens the deserved win.

It will be all to play for when MFM face Air Warriors who earlier defeated them in the group B game.

In the third-place game on Thursday, First Bank will play Dolphins.

Alleged Money Laundering: Bank Official Testifies In Fayose’s Case

 

The trial of the former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, continued today with the testimony of a Zenith Bank official, Dr Abiodun Oshode, who told the court how the bank took a bullion van to the Akure airport in 2014 to evacuate a cash sum of N1.219bn from an aircraft.

The witness told trial judge, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, that the request for the service was made by Abiodun Agbele, an aide to the former governor, Ayo Fayose.

The witness also testified that a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, was present during the operation at the airport.

Oshode said after taking the N1.219bn cash to the bank, Agbele supplied three bank accounts into which the monies were to be lodged.

He listed the three accounts as those of Privateer Nigeria Limited; Spotless Investment Limited and a personal account of the former governor.

The witness also listed “Ayodele Fayose and Mrs Olayemi Fayose” as the signatories to the account of Spotless Investment Limited.

Under cross-examination, the witness admitted that though there was nothing inappropriate about the transaction, the bank reported the N1.219bn cash lodgment to the authorities in line with the standard practice that banks must report cash transactions above N1m for an individual and N5m for a corporate body.

The banker also admitted that there was no time that the former governor filled any teller dealing with the money.

Subsequently, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, adjourned further proceedings till Wednesday, October 23.

The former governor was first arraigned on October 22, 2018, before Justice Mojisola Olatotegun, alongside a company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering offences.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and Fayose was then granted bail on October 24, 2018, in the sum of N50 million with sureties in like sum.

Thereafter, the EFCC opened its trial on November 19, 2018, and called 13 out of its listed witnesses.

According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion, said to have formed part of proceeds of crime, for the purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti.

Fayose was also alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars, (about N1.8 billion) from the then Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution.

He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million “which sum he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds”.

The former governor was also alleged to have “procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain the aggregate sums of N851 million which they ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds”.

Beyond that, he was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion “to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which he ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds”.

He was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million, “to acquire a property in Abuja, in the name of his elder sister Moji Oladeji, which he ought to know also forms crime proceeds”.

All the offences contravene the provisions of sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.

Zenith Bank, Five Others Top Banker Magazine Global Ranking

Six Nigerian banks have been ranked among the Banker Magazine’s top 25 banks in Africa in its 2017 1000 global banks’ ranking.

The banks are Zenith Bank, First Bank Nigeria Limited, Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank, United Bank for Africa and Diamond Bank.

According to the ranking, Zenith Bank was placed first in Nigeria, 10th in Africa and 430th in the world.

First Bank on the other hand, was named the second largest bank in Nigeria, 12th in Africa and 567th in the world.

GT Bank was next as 13th in Africa and 588th in the world, while Access Bank occupies the fourth position at 14th in Africa and 628th in the world.

UBA was placed fifth in Nigeria, 22nd in Africa and 832 in the global ranking while Diamond Bank was ranked sixth in Nigeria, 24th in Africa and 881 in the world.

Police Begin Arrest Of Zenith Bank Robbery Suspects In Imo

Police Begin Arrest Of Zenith Bank Robbery Suspects In ImoThe Imo State Police Command says it has begun the arrest of suspects involved in the Zenith Bank robbery along Wetheral Road in Owerri, the state’s capital.

The Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, stated this during a news conference at the headquarters of the Police Command in the Imo State capital, southeast Nigeria.

He said the command is making progress in arresting other prime suspects involved in the operation which happened on February 22, adding that they would be apprehended in no distant time.

Mr Lakanu paraded about 50 suspected criminals allegedly involved in kidnapping, murder, cultism, fraud, child trafficking and car snatching among others.

He disclosed that the command has successfully arrested the suspected murderer of an American veteran solider, Oscar Okebata, who was robbed and murdered on January 12.

The Police Commissioner reiterated the resolve of the command to ensure a well-policed Imo State.

“While it is an illusion to completely wish away crime in any society, it is our resolve to ensure a better, well-policed and secured state.

“Our renewed strategy of proactive policing has recorded successful results, leading to the arrest of over 50 suspects involved in various crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, child stealing and trafficking, murder, fraud and PHCN vandals.

“The command has begun the arrest of suspects involved in the Zenith Bank robbery of Wednesday, 22nd February, 2017 and details will be made known at the appropriate time.

“Again, we have recorded a breakthrough in the case of robbery and murder of one Oscar Okebata, an American veteran soldier who was robbed and murdered on the 12th of January 2017,” Mr Lakanu said.

Court Orders Immediate De-freezing of Governor Fayose’s Accounts

Court Orders Immediate De-freezing of Governor Fayose's AccountsA Federal High court sitting in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to lift the restriction placed on some accounts belonging to Governor Ayodele Fayose in Zenith Bank.

The court also set aside an earlier order of a Federal High court, Lagos empowering the EFCC to freeze two accounts domiciled in the new generation bank.

The court has consequently ordered the EFCC to immediately defreeze the two accounts belonging to the governor without further delay, on the account that the anti-graft agency did not follow due process in confiscating them.

Delivering his judgement, the presiding Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, said the rights of the governor had been unconstitutionally infringed upon, considering the circumstance of his office.

Justice Taiwo declared that apart from the immunity which Mr Fayose currently enjoyed as a sitting governor under section 308 of the constitution, it was wrong for the EFCC to have gone ahead to seize his two accounts in apparent perpetuity without first investigating him or making him a party.

He averred that rather than the EFCC freezing the governor’s accounts directly through the third party who did not enjoy any mandate from him, the governor himself ought to have been first investigated and brought into the picture.

The judge described Fayose as “a genuinely deprived person who rushed to the court to seek constitutional protection”.

The judge thereby gave a mandatory order the de-freezing, unblocking and making operational the two accounts by the respondents.

He said it was also the duty of any presiding judge to protect the said constitution and its interpretations whenever the need arises.

“The Plaintiff is entitled to be heard before his property or money can be seized, doing otherwise will amount to denying him fair hearing and constitutional rights”, he said.

The judge however refused to grant other relief sought by the governor, including a perpetual injunction restraining EFCC or its agents from further tampering with his property, and another one asking for payment of N5billion as exemplary damages.

“This court will not shield any person from due investigation and since Police cannot be stopped from investigating a crime, same goes for the First Respondent so as not to whittle down its functions”, the judge said.

EFCC lead counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo was absent at the court but Fayose’s lead counsel, Ozekhome, in his reaction described the judgment as the best to be so made the EFCC in history, saying it would checkmate the agency against years of brazen arbitrariness and excesses.

The EFCC had on June 21, 2016 confiscated the two accounts having allegedly contained a sum of N2.99billion out of the N2.3 billion arms money allegedly drawn by the governor from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki to prosecute his governorship election in 2014.

Fayose through his lawyer, Mr Mike Ozekhome approached the court and sought for the enforcement of his fundamental rights, which involved the de-freezing of the two accounts.

Financial Markets Close For Holiday

Nigerian Stock Exchange, NS, Financial Market, Stock Market, Independence HolidayFinancial markets across Nigeria are closed for the country’s 56th independence holiday.

Markets had closed on Friday to reopen tomorrow, Tuesday October 4.

Before the holiday, the financial markets had closed largely bearish but marginal gains were recorded in the equity market.

The last trading in September ended marginally positive as the all share index and market capitalisation rose further by more than a quarter of a percent, on the back of price advance by some mid-cap stocks.

However, market breadth was negative with 16 gainers against 22 losers on the price table.

The top three gainers for the day were Pharmadeko, NAHCO and Honeywell Flour Mills while Caverton, Nothern Nigeria Flour Mills and Conoil were the three most significant decliners.

Nigerian Stock Exchange, NS, Financial Market, Stock Market, Independence Holiday

Friday’s transaction was lower than the previous session, as it recorded a total turnover of 217.8 million shares worth 2.38 billion naira in 2,804 deals.

The most traded stocks were banking giants, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, FCMB and Zenith Bank.

Research analysts believe that markets direction will be shaped by the third quarter numbers this week as yields in the local bonds market tend to inch higher.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank plans to auction 135.7-billion-naira worth of treasury bills on Wednesday with a view to curb speculations against the naira at the foreign exchange market as well as inflation.

Illegal Property Dealing: Prosecution Witnesses In Adegboruwa’s Case Take Stand

Ebun-Olu-Adegboruwa
Legal Practitioner, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa.

The trial of Lagos Lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa continued on Wednesday at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos with prosecution witnesses taking the stand.

The first prosecution witness, Godwin Adams, who continued his testimony under cross examination from counsel to the defendant, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), insisted that there was no way he or his client could have known that there was any forfeiture order on the property as the wife of the owner of the property, Mrs Udeagbala and her family were living in the property at the time of negotiation.

He also confirmed there was no sign or notice fixed on any part of the property by the EFCC to inform the public of this encumbrance.

The witness also told the court that Mr Adegboruwa went with him to the EFCC office, where they were both told about the interim order of attachment after the commission had sealed the property.

Rents on the property in question is now being paid to the EFCC which has in turn increased the rent from N10 million to N12 million per annum.

After his testimony, a second prosecution witness, Mr. Teslim Adekunle Ajuwon, a Compliance Officer with Zenith Bank Plc, also took the witness box.

Through him, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, tendered documents and statement of account of Mr Adegboruwa.

The case has been adjourned to Wednesday the 15th of June for the witness to continue his testimony.

Legal Practitioner, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, is standing trial on a one count charge of allegedly dealing in property forfeited to the Federal Government through an interim order of court, a charge to which he has pleaded not guilty.

The offence is said to have contravened the provisions of Section 32(1) of the EFCC Act, 2004.

Mr Adegboruwa, however, insists that he is being persecuted by the EFCC on account of his human rights cases against the Buhari administration and in particular, his representation of Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo and Mr Azibaola Robert, a cousin to the former president, Goodluck Jonathan.

Four Nigerian Banks Among Global Top 500 Banking Brands

Nigerian BanksFirst Bank of Nigeria ranks 320 in the 2016 top 500 banking brands ranking published by the Banker Magazine of Financial Times Group.

The bank moved up the scale 16 places from 336th position in 2015 to retain its number one banking brand ranking in Nigeria for the fifth consecutive year.

A press release from the country representative of the Banker Magazine in Nigeria, Kunle Ogedengbe, added that three other Nigerian banks also made the ranking.

They are Guaranty Trust Bank which moved to 389th position, Zenith Bank at 392nd, and United Bank for Africa at the 447th position.

Access Bank that made the ranking at 496th position in 2015 dropped from the 2016 ranking.

According to The Banker magazine, Nigeria has the highest brand value increase of $249m among the five countries in Africa that made the ranking.

Egypt moved up by $239m; Togo gained $134m while South Africa and Morocco lost $878mn and $213m.

The top 10 banks in the world are Well Fargo (USA); ICBC (China); China Construction Bank; Agricultural Bank of China; Chase (USA); Bank of China; Bank of America; Citi (USA); HSBC (UK); and Barclays (UK).

Kaduna Govt. Awards 1.7 Billion Naira For Expansion of Zaria Water Project

kaduna stateThe Kaduna State Government has awarded 1.7 billion naira contract for the rehabilitation and expansion of Zaria water distribution network.

The Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Lere, who disclosed this to journalists after the weekly State Executive Council (SEC) meeting, said the project was awarded to two construction firms.

He stated that the contracts include rehabilitation and replacement of some of the old pipes, construction of 7.3 kilometre transmission lines, construction of 10 reservoirs of six million litres each, construction of three bolster stations, among other projects.

He further explained that the water project, when completed, is expected to deliver about 150 million litres of water daily to Zaria and neighboring semi-urban areas.

According to him, the project is intended to alleviate and address the issue of perennial shortage of water for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes within the area.

The Zaria water project which commenced in 1999, has gulped more than 15 billion Naira so far, but the present administration says it is determined to complete the project within the shortest possible time.

Also during the meeting, the Council approved the sum of 900 million Naira for the procurement of 109 Toyota patrol vehicles for the various security agencies in the state.

The Commissioner for Finance, Suleiman Kwari, disclosed that the money was sourced from Zenith Bank as loan, and will be repaid within 42 months with an interest rate of 30 million naira.

The Commissioner explained that the procurement of the vehicles is to support security agencies in the fight against crime in the state.

Governor El-Rufai To Commence Verification Of Kaduna Civil Servants

Governor El-Rufai To Commence Verification Of Kaduna Civil ServantsKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has announced the commencement of biometric verification of all civil servants in the state’s workforce from Wednesday.

The exercise was signed and announced on Sunday by the Head of Service to Kaduna State Governor, Mrs Alisabatu Dada-Onazi.

Mrs Dada-Onazi said that the verification exercise was designed to provide the State Government with accurate and reliable record of its personnel and clean-up its payroll.

According to the statement issued to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, data collected from the exercise would enable the government to determine whether the billions of Naira spent monthly on staff salaries were paid to identifiable and verifiable civil servants or not.

It further explained that the biometric registration exercise would be conducted simultaneously across the three senatorial zones which are Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria.

The civil servants, in the statement, were advised to bring their letter of appointment, letter of last promotion and means of identification which could be their National Identity Card, Driver’s License, Permanent Voter Card or International Passport.

The Head of Service also directed the workers to physically appear before the verification team for screening and collection of their salary cheques for the month of June 2015.

The biometric verification exercise would be completed on Wednesday July 8.

The Kaduna State Government had in the previous week, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank, to partner in updating the Civil Service Payroll.