Month: February 2015


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(L-R) Nigerian Idol celebrity Judge and Afro Beat Icon, Dede Mabiaku, Executive Director, Optima Media Group(OMG), Ugochi Pedro, Nigerian Idol Celebrity Judge and renowned Vocalist, Yinka Davies & Head of Youth Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Elvis Ogiemwanye at the Nigerian Idol Season 5 Auditions Preview in Lagos
(L-R) Nigerian Idol celebrity Judge and Afro Beat Icon, Dede Mabiaku, Executive Director, Optima Media Group(OMG), Ugochi Pedro, Nigerian Idol Celebrity Judge and renowned Vocalist, Yinka Davies & Head of Youth Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Elvis Ogiemwanye at the Nigerian Idol Season 5 Auditions Preview in Lagos

Amidst the clouds of uncertainties surrounding the 2015 general elections, Nigerians can finally find moments of warmth, excitements and laughter to look forward when the broadcast of season five of Nigeria’s leading music reality show, Nigerian Idol comes up on air from Sunday, March 1, 2015 on both terrestrial and satellite TV stations across the nation.

The broadcast, featuring mind-blowing performances at the just concluded auditions, promises to offer quality entertainment to the millions of viewers and fans of the family-oriented talent-hunt show from the country’s pool of talented music talents who participated in the auditions.

Among the terrestrial and satellite TV Stations on which Nigerian Idol season 5 will be aired are NTA (National), STV (both DSTV and Terrestrial), Superscreen (9 pm)and Smash Tv (8pm on CONSAT). Others stations on Startimes are WAP Tv (9pm), AMC (7pm), Rave Tv (7pm), Cool Tv (9pm), Wazobia Tv (8.30pm), Real Star Tv (8pm), Oodua Tv (7pm) and V. Channels Tv (8pm).

Nigerian Idol Presenter, Olowu Bardia Adebola (Illrhymz), Nigerian Idol Celebrity Judge  & renowned Vocalist, Yinka Davies,  Executive Director, Optima Media Group (OMG), Ugochi Pedro, and Head of Youth Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Elvis Daniel Ogiemwanye at the Nigerian Idol Season 5 Auditions Preview in Lagos
Nigerian Idol Presenter, Olowu Bardia Adebola (Illrhymz), Nigerian Idol Celebrity Judge & renowned Vocalist, Yinka Davies, Executive Director, Optima Media Group (OMG), Ugochi Pedro, and Head of Youth Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Elvis Daniel Ogiemwanye at the Nigerian Idol Season 5 Auditions Preview in Lagos

It will be recalled that Nigerian Idol franchise owners, Optima Media Group (OMG) with Show sponsors, Etisalat, Payporte and Dabur Toothpaste recently concluded nationwide Auditions for this season in five select cities which included Benin City, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja and Lagos.

Speaking about the Auditions and what the expectations are for the viewing public, one of the celebrity Judges and Hit maker, Darey ‘art’ Alade noted that the increase in level of competition makes the show all the more interesting.
His words, “There is a lot of competition-new voices, new faces, I can’t wait to hear them blossom and go up the ranks I guess top 100 as we whittle down to the finalists later on as the weeks go by.”
Also speaking on the quality of talents unearthed at the auditions, another Judge on the show, Dede Mabiaku assured on the readiness of the participants to offer viewers quality entertainment
“Wonderful talents,” he began. “more prepared minds because based on how we are going with it, the talks we had with some of them will empower them to keep working on themselves before they get to the top 100. So I think that is what we should expect, more quality this time,” he concluded.
Nigerian Idol is in its fifth season after a successful debut in 2010 won by Yeka Onka. In the following years which saw the emergence of Mercy Chinwo, Moses Adigwe and Zebili Evelyn (Evelle), it has grown in popularity and followership on the basis of the unique platforms it offers to young Nigerians with exceptional music talent. It is the only music TV reality show in Nigeria with a global appeal that currently cuts across 46 countries.
Nigerian Idol focuses on discovering Nigerian youths with talent in music and giving them a unique platform to take shots at stardom. The eventual winner goes home with N7.5 million cash reward, a brand new car, a recording deal worth N7.5 million and some high-end devices.


Attempted Jail Break In Calabar Prison

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An attempted jail break in Calabar prison, Cross River State, has been foiled by officers and men of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) with the support of the Army and Police Force. Trouble started when on the 20th of February, 2015 at about 1100hrs, two cells housing some awaiting trial prisoners where opened, as a normal routine, for the inmates to take their bath.
Prison-296x355About four of them walked up to an escort staff to complain that they were tired of staying in the prison awaiting justice and wanted to be taken to court. The staff on duty appealed to them to exercise patience for courts to resume seating as they were currently on strike but this fell on deaf ears. Other prisoners soon joined in the agitation to be taken to court and in a spontaneous reaction, pounced on the staff, advanced through the Chief Warders office, destroying all the adjoining doors before gaining access to the gate lodge.
They eventually broke into the armoury situated in the gate lodge and collected three riffles, went to the yard and started firing sporadically. Warning shots fired by armed men on guard duty outside the perimeter fence did not deter them. The prisoners rather went to the rear of the perimeter fence and fired several shots at the wall to weaken the blocks. Thereafter they used a concrete slab to hit open the weakened wall, making large hole through which they jumped out still firing at anything in sight.
They were however engaged in a gun battle with the Armed Squad personnel assisted by the Army and Policemen and at the end, 8 of the prisoners died, 17 were injured, 4 staff were also injured with one of them having serious wounds. Others were arrested and returned to the yard. No prisoner escaped and all the riffles were recovered.
The situation is now fully under control and normalcy has since returned to the yard. The Controller General of Prisons, Dr. Peter Ekpendu, mni stated that but for the gallantry of the armed men on duty, the mass escape bid would have resulted in a monumental security disaster as over 500 out of the 638 awaiting trial prisoners at the time of the incident, are charged for capital offences such as armed robbery, murder, kidnapping etc.
He further stated that while the Prisons Service is devoted to humane treatment and correction of the inmates, his administration is committed to putting a stop to the wave jail breaks in the country, hence such attempts would never be tolerated.

Ebonyi Assembly Begins Impeachment Proceedings Against Gov. Elechi

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In one of the petitions, the embattled governor, his son, Elechi Elechi, and Edward Nkwegu, among others, were accused of contract inflation and illegal use of state funds for private gains.

Governor,  Martin Elechi
Governor, Martin Elechi

The Ebonyi State House of Assembly has agreed to serve an impeachment notice on Governor Martin Elechi, after accusing the governor of corruption and gross misconduct.

A motion for the notice to be served on the governor was approved after the acting Majority Leader of the House, Francis Nwifruru, on Friday, read details accusing Mr. Elechi of undermining the integrity of the House and committing fraudulent acts.

The Ebonyi Assembly had last Wednesday, February 18, set up a panel to investigate allegations of financial misappropriation against the governor and some of his aides.

The assembly took the decision following petitions it received from groups in the state, including Ebonyi Integrity Group.

In one of the petitions, the embattled governor, his son, Elechi Elechi, and Edward Nkwegu, among others, were accused of contract inflation and illegal use of state funds for private gains.

Before the probe panel was constituted, the House Leader, Ikechukwu Ogbu, had read the petitions written against the governor on the floor of the assembly.

The petitions were adopted through a motion sponsored by Ogbonnaya Nwifuru, a member representing Izzi West State constituency.

In his contribution, the Minority Leader, Enyi Enyi, described the allegations against Mr. Elechi as shocking, adding that the governor risked impeachment if found guilty.

Other lawmakers who spoke that Wednesday urged the assembly to invoke all its constitutional powers to deal with the issue.

They, however, pointed out that those accused would be given the opportunity to defend themselves before the house takes necessary action.

Shortly after debates on the petitions were concluded, the Speaker, Chukwuma Nwazunku, called for a voice vote and members unanimously agreed that the governor be investigated.

The assembly, thereby, set up a special panel headed by Odefa Odefa, a member representing Onicha South, to further investigate the allegations and report its findings to the assembly.

The speaker noted that the essence of the special committee was to do a thorough investigation on the weighty allegations against the governor.

Apparently aware of the thickening plot to oust him, Mr. Elechi had told members of Ezza Ezzekuna Youth Congress, who paid him a solidarity visit at the government house in Abakiliki, that top politicians were holding meetings to remove him from office.

“I want to bring to your notice that some politicians who have vowed to govern this state at all cost have been holding secret meetings on how to impeach me,” the governor said.

“They said I’m a bad person and that if I continue to remain in power they will not have their way of ruling the state. All I can say is that if they sack me, I will relocate to my home.”

He called on the youth not to allow the state be taken over by desperate politicians who do not have their interest at heart.

Mr. Elechi asked the youth to be vigilant and resist any attempt to use them to stoke crisis which would not bring any good to the state.

The move on Friday, to serve the governor an impeachment notice, came after the House completed its investigation.

No Plan To Convert Domiciliary Accounts To Naira Accounts – CBN

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CBN says it does not plan to convert domiciliary accounts of bank customers to naira accounts and advises the public to ignore speculations on the issue.

No Plan To Convert Domiciliary Accounts To Naira Accounts – CBN

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CBN says it does not plan to convert domiciliary accounts of bank customers to naira accounts and advises the public to ignore speculations on the issue.


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One of Nigeria’s leading Media and Public Relations agencies, BHM has today, announced the kick off of a new company called ID Africa. The new agency, headquarter in Lagos, is a ‘social and digital marketing agency’, according to founder Ayeni Adekunle
BHM is a major advocate of social PR – a practice that prioritizes the use of C2C conversations in driving advocacy and telling brand stories. The agency is a digital PR leader in Nigeria, in an industry that’s just slowly waking up to the opportunities technology and trends provide.

ID Africa is a creative, social and digital marketing agency specializing in the customization of brand communication to specific target markets, and the use of stories and conversations to engage audiences.
The company is part of the BHM Group, which is home to Nigerian Entertainment Today and BlackHouse Media.
In 2014, BHM introduced Nigeria’s first mobile application for the media and PR industry, and, according to data from its digital department, the company recorded over one billion (1bn) social impressions from different campaigns during the year.

Ayeni  Adekunle
Ayeni Adekunle

Speaking further, Ayeni says ‘Brands should not only tell their stories, they must have a passionate community of consumers who are believers and evangelists, happy to share their experience and convert even the worst skeptic. The combination of great social technology and cool content are the sine qua non to achieving this!’
ID Africa aims to fill the gap left by digital marketing firms across Africa who currently offers only the most generic of marketing and digital ad services. This it hopes to achieve by leveraging on the often-overlooked Internet business community in Nigeria reported to be growing by up to 50% annually.
The birth of this type of digital conversations, according to ID Africa, may just be the end of advertising, as we know it. If successful in this quest to disrupt status quo, the company would have created a new global template for Internet Marketing and online Public Relations.

My time has come — Ogboru

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Idolised by fans as the Peoples General, Chief Great Ogboru had become a rallying platform for opposition to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Delta State. He had in the last decade moved across different political platforms in his quest for the governorship of the state – South-South Rainbow Coalition, SSRC, then the Alliance for Democracy in 2003, the Democratic Peoples Party, DPP in 2007 and 2011, and now Labour Party, LP . Ogboru has continuously captivated popular imagination in Delta, yet has underperformed at the crucial point of counting the votes. Ogboru has, however, pleaded the alibi of rigging.
Given his marital and maternal linkages across the three senatorial districts of the state, and the uprooting of those factors he claimed had conspired against him in the past, Ogboru is asserting himself as the candidate to beat in the forthcoming governorship election in Delta State. Last Wednesday Ogboru alongside some Labour Party candidates and the leadership of his campaign was the guest of Vanguard Editors. He drew questions on his past political participation, plans and his claimed pan-Delta agenda. Excerpts:
By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor, Dapo Akinrefon, Charles Kumolu & Gbenga Oke
What new thing do you have that is pushing you to contest again?
ogboru-greatWhat we have been doing in Delta state apart from creating opposition in the state for good reasons, is also making sure that the people of Delta have an alternative, and that alternative comes from our leadership. We believe that we are giving them good leadership because they continue to follow us. If when we came in 2003 and 2007 and were roundly rejected, we would not have come in 2011.
We have made significant progress. We had about 11 members elected to the State House of Assembly, we had a Senator elected and we had about two members elected to the House of Representatives. That is significant progress.
In a proper and conducive environment, I would have said that our party would have been a very strong platform on which to leap in the 2015 election, but unfortunately, those dreams were filtered away because of the type of politicking that we practice.
Nevertheless, the gains that we have made, the consciousness we have created in the society, make it imperative for us to continue for as long as the people demand our leadership. When they reject us, we will gladly bow out and say thank you we have done our beat. But as it were, until the people say no, I do not see how we can surrender. That is why we have been in this business.
What are you offering Deltans and why should they vote for you this time?
Not very much has changed in terms of the social, economic and political environment in the state. What we are bringing to the table is that healthcare and medicare will be largely improved, we are going to ensure that hospitals begin to function, our schools are going to be better. Of course, we will create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.Enabling environment
I have heard about this ‘enabling environment’ in so many economic circles, but most of it is lip talk. My party and the leadership I want to bring to the state will be more of an interventionist agency. Interventionist in the sense that development and growth will be witnessed.
To a large extent, we will partner with the people because we know that access to capital is difficult, we will partner with them to provide the necessary capital and the necessary technological skills for them to be able to participate in an economic environment. One key project that we will do is to create a public company for each of the senatorial districts. A public company that will specialize in the provision of social services.
That public company will be owned by the people of Delta. All the shares of the companies will be controlled by the indigenes of the three senatorial districts. These companies will not be ordinary companies, they will be owned partially by foreigners. We told you in 2011 that we have a concept that is called the EODI, which is the Equal Opportunity Development Initiative and we told you that N100m will be set aside monthly for each local government for developmental purposes. This is 2015, we are developing this concept. If we are to give nine local governments N100m each for instance for development and the company is owned by the people of Delta state, there is a certain amount of profit that the company must make because it is a limited company.

Wealth creation
By doing so, you are creating wealth for the people of Delta State. I think that when that is done and replicated over time, the trickle down effect of that will mean that you have better roads, better schools, better hospitals and better housing. With this programme alone, we can engage the people of Delta State over a period of time.
If this programme works the way it is envisaged, we are going to take crime off the streets of Delta State because when the people have access to capital, good schools and good roads, the most likely tendency is that people will stay away from crime.
You claimed to have won the last elections in Delta State but was not declared. How are you going to protect your vote this time?
Our votes have always been protected and that is why we were able to get 430,000 votes. You do not have 430,000 votes in an election if your votes are not protected. The problem is the riverine communities in Delta State which we were not able to handle properly.
So, those riverine communities became challenges in the sense that even the police could not provide security and I can tell you that most INEC officials could not even get there. That is why I questioned how these card readers would be used. What happened then was that whereas we won the upland in most of the state, those riverine votes were brought to defeat the will of the people of Delta state. That was why I was I not declared, but the times have changed, the dynamics have changed, the complexities changed, the actors are different.
Enemies of yesterday
So enemies of yesterday are friends of today and when all of these complexities are put together, it tells you that some of those votes that worked against us in the past will work for us now.
Have you had any reconciliation with Governor Uduaghan especially after the PDP primaries?
This question is always coming to me because Uduaghan was short-changed during the primaries. I think he is getting a pill of what they have been doing to me. I was glad when I met him recently in a very warm embrace.
And when he spoke to us, he said he was at peace with himself. And if you were there, you will know that we had not met prior to then. If we had met, his behaviour would have been different. There is no discussion going on between us anywhere behind the scene. Uduaghan knows that Ogboru is the elected governor of the state but things did not go well the way they should go. On a personal note, we are friends and in-laws too. While all these are going on, you have to understand that there is a human relationship between us.
When we took him to court, we were duty bound to do so. That is the name of the game. Sometimes when you are fighting with your brother, you also wish that you don’t give him a killer punch because the punch could be so devastating that he may never recover from it.
So, have you been able to resolve the challenge from the riverine areas? Also, what is your role in the present crisis rocking the Urhobo Progressive Union, UPU?
I believe that we have a very strong support from the Ijaw and Itsekiri communities today. That support was not there yesterday, but like I said with the stage and the actors being different, the dynamics must be different.
So, the differences are working for our good and I believe that when the election takes place, those toxic votes will come to us. Whatever vote that will come from the riverine communities, will be in our favour. Our followership there is enormous.But Tompolo is believed to be a PDP chieftain and is Ijaw?

We are not bothered about that. We are going to defeat Tompolo in his local government. The only place he will win is Gbaramatu.
Women in the congress
The place we are likely to have some challenge, is Burutu where the deputy governor comes from. But because Tompolo is a factor that is being rejected, I believe that his candidate will be defeated.
The UPU is an organisation that has lasted for over 83 years. It is older than the Nigerian nation. The UPU has a constitution as to how to become the president general of the association.
The president is elected by all the president generals, youths and women in the congress. In this case, because you were supporting somebody else, you decided to create a faction.
Unfortunately for the Onoge group, if we were to conduct an election in the state, the UPU candidate will not get 10 percent of the votes. It is a two horse race.