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What femi adesina think Bukola Saraki really is

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by Femi Adesina

Former Kwara State governor and now senator representing Kwara Central, Dr. Bukola Saraki, was guest of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) earlier this week.  According to reports, he was quizzed for many hours, and later allowed to go home.

What questions did Saraki have to answer?  His role in the collapsed Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, where he was an Executive Director,  and where depositors lost money in billions.  Again, he was said to have been grilled on how he managed the finances of Kwara State as a two-term governor.

Naturally, the fact that Saraki was quizzed by the EFCC should not have raised any dust.  If he did things that demanded explanations while he held those two former positions, then he should be grilled.  No one is above the law, and the fact that he is being questioned does not tantamount to automatic guilt.

But there is this buzz going round about Saraki and his role in the fuel subsidy payments saga.  Last year, he had raised a motion in the Senate, seeking an investigation into the N240 billion budgeted in the 2011 Appropriation Act for fuel subsidy.  Some people say it has put him permanently in the Black Book of certain powerful forces in government.

Saraki, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, had pointed out that the sum of N240 billion had been budgeted to subsidize petroleum products in 2011, but that more than N1.2 trillion was actually spent by the end of that year.  The disclosure sparked off spiral effects, leading to the prosecution of a number of oil marketers today.

But in Nigeria, whistleblowers often land in trouble, particularly when the whistling is against the Establishment.  Stories making the rounds say Bukola Saraki is now paying the price for not learning to keep his leaking mouth shut.  That is why first the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police was first unleashed against him, and now the EFCC.

Now, let’s look at the content of the squeal by Saraki, for which he’s paying dearly today.  His motion stated that the sum of N771 billion was spent, which was 700% above the budgeted sum for subsidy in 2011.  He added that if the trend continued, N1.2 trillion would have been spent by just one agency of government in one year, exceeding the total capital budget of N1.1 trillion for that fiscal year.

As if determined to talk himself into trouble, Senator Saraki suggested the setting up of a committee to investigate how the excess funds were sourced.  He added that although N20 billion was set aside for subsidy on monthly basis in the 2011 Appropriation Act, a total sum of N165 billion was expended in August 2011 alone, out of which NNPC got N88 billion, and independent marketers got N77.6 billion.

Again, he observed that although N240 billion was budgeted for the entire year, N391 billion had been spent at August ending.

Saraki had asked for trouble, and he got it.  He had unsettled a colony of wasps, and he was about to be stung till kingdom come.

Based on his motion, civil rights activists and other Nigerians put pressure on the Federal Government, which eventually asked the EFCC to investigate the matter, and prosecute those culpable.  A number of those fingered in the shady deals are on trial today.

And did Saraki live happily ever after?  The buzz claims that it was when his troubles began.  The SFU was first sent after him, and he was declared wanted for his roles in the mismanagement of the Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria (SGBN), which had led to the license of the financial outfit being withdrawn in 2005.

Again, this week, the EFCC struck.  After a disquieting lull in the activities of the commission, it suddenly remembered that Saraki was there, and pulled him in for questioning on Monday.  Is the EFCC on to something concrete, or is this part of the classic way in which government hounds its opponents?

I admit.  Depositors lost billions in SGBN, and I remember that the then Kwara State governor, Mohammed Lawal (now deceased) had said the money was deployed by the Saraki family to unseat him from office, and plant Bukola in power.

But it is now 10 years since the man became governor, and eight years since the bank crumbled.  Is it not long enough to put a closure to the matter? How long did it take to investigate Bernard Madoff over his Ponzi scheme, through which he defrauded people of billions of dollars in the U.S?

Why then is the SGBN matter a kind of albatross hung round Saraki’s neck anytime he talks or acts out of turn?  Nigeria should really learn to do things differently.

While serving as governor, it was said that Saraki waived his immunity, and allowed himself to be questioned on the SGBN matter.  So, why is there nothing conclusive yet?

And if the man fiddled with the money of the state he governed, he has been out of office for more than two full years.  Is it not long enough a time to build a watertight case and haul him before the courts?

If Saraki did not talk out of turn on petroleum subsidy, would he not be in the good books of the government today? Or does he have more information on the subsidy scam that some people are afraid of?  That is the bane of our country.  You are chummy with the powers-that-be only if you don’t rock the boat.  If you do, a price is put on your head.  This country sef!

This article was taken from the sun dated 2013.

© 2015, . All rights reserved.

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Two Nigerian men arrested with fake South African passports in Thailand

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Nong Khai immigration police, Thailand on Monday October 16th, arrested two Nigerian men who were found to be using fake passports.

The Nigerian nationals bearing the names Katego Ofentse Makabane and Wayne Junior Shinbambo, both 35, attempted to cross the border to Laos at the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge.

They told immigration officers they were going to the South African embassy in Vientiane.
However, when officers checked their South African passports they discovered a number of discrepancies.

During further questioning the two men confessed to using fake South African passports and admitted they actually from Nigeria.

One man said he had entered Thailand at Phuket Airport while the other said he entered at Padang Besar.

The men said a friend in Thailand made the fake passports for them after their original passports had expired.

© 2017, Ikrueyen Vickky. All rights reserved.

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From Europe to Silicon Valley: McLoughlin and Rein on their journey at Disrupt Berlin

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Graffiti on Berlin Wall, Berlin, GermanyTechCrunch Disrupt Berlin, our premier European event is fast approaching this December. And that means some of the top players from Silicon Valley will be coming over.
In this context, we are always interested in the experiences of European entrepreneurs who have made the transition from a successful European startup to joining the ecosystem in Silicon Valley. So we’re delighted to announce two new speakers for the conference who have been through that very journey. And not only that, one ended up investing in the other, making for an even more fascinating conversation.Andy McLoughlin
Partner
SoftTech VC

Andy is a Partner with SoftTech VC, one of Silicon Valley’s most active seed-stage venture capital firms where he primarily invests in SaaS, vertical industry solutions, and developer tools.
Prior to joining SoftTech, Andy was co-founder of London-headquartered Huddle, an enterprise SaaS collaboration platform that was acquired in 2017. Andy’s angel investment portfolio includes innovative B2B products like Pipedrive, Intercom, Apiary (acquired by Oracle), Buffer and Bugsnag, as well as consumer services including Postmates, Secret Escapes, HER, and Calm.
Andy co-founded and is the US Trustee for the Founders Pledge, a charity that promotes altruism in early-stage entrepreneurs by enabling them to donate a percentage of personal proceeds following an exit. He was awarded an OBE in the 2015 Queen’s birthday honors list for services to the UK technology industry. Follow him on twitter @bandrew

Timo Rein
Co-founder/CEO
Pipedrive

Timo Rein, co-founder and CEO of Pipedrive an activity-based simple sales management tool that helps over 60,000 sales teams to get more organised and focused, has 15+ years of experience as a salesman, sales manager and software entrepreneur. Timo is passionate about sales tactics and has always had a knack for reading people.

As CEO, Timo is responsible for setting long-term product vision and business-critical strategy goals. While Pipedrive has grown to over 300 employees working from different locations in New York, Lisbon, London and Estonia, Timo is still closely involved in the hiring process of new people and helps to find the best possible professional and personal fit between the new employee, the job or the rest of the team.

Prior to founding Pipedrive Timo worked for eleven years as one of the three partners at Vain & Partners, a sales consulting and training company with clientele like PwC, Coca Cola and Nissan. Timo’s goal was to create programs that would help different companies and people sell more, and manage better. Timo worked with about 30-40 companies, and 500 people each year to figure out ways to better sales results in different industries.

Timo also considers selling books door-to-door for 3 months in 2000 (in California, US) with Southwestern Comp, crucial to his sales experience that was eventually put to use as the architecture of Pipedrive. He was in top 1% performers among 4,000 sales people and while he never thought he was the type of person who could sell, he pulled off 14-hour-long days, 6 days a week, and 12 weeks in a row.

Timo’s first full-time job as a university student was a recruiter when he worked for four years interviewing people applying for managerial and specialist positions in different companies. Timo studied psychology at Tartu University and completed his BA studies in 1999.


Disrupt Berlin 2017 takes place December 4-5 at the historic Arena Berlin in the heart of Berlin, Germany.

Get your Disrupt tickets ASAP or rather right now to save 30% off of your tickets. You’ll see the Startup Battlefield competition, in which a handful of startups pitch our judges with the hopes of winning the coveted Disrupt Cup and a massive cash prize.

And you’ll get to chat with representatives from scores of promising startups in Startup Alley, see amazing on stage content, and unwind after a long day at the show with a cocktail and some new friends at the Disrupt after party.

Are you a startup? The Startup Alley Exhibitor Package is your best bet to get the greatest exposure by exhibiting your company or product directly on the Disrupt Berlin show floor and if you get your exhibitor package before this Friday 29 September you’ll get an additional general admission ticket! Check it out.

 

 

© 2017, Paul Umoh. All rights reserved.

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Nigerian News

Man goes temporarily insane after wife gives birth to conjoined babies in Lagos.

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A man was so distraught when his wife gave birth to conjoined twin baby boys that he became temporarily insane.

Mr Obinna Ugwuoke, from Ebonyi state, and his wife Mrs Amarachi Ugwoke welcomed their sons at First Covenant Hospital in Satellite Town, Lagos on the 8th of May 2 017. The couple, who have two other children, were shocked when they saw that their sons were joined at the stomach and it took a toll on the husband.

The boys have four separate legs, two separate heads, and four hands but are fused from the chest down to the stomach. They have been named James and John.

The parents are awaiting a surgery to separate their sons and their parish has begun raising money to help pay for the medical expenses.

© 2017, Sunday Emmanuel. All rights reserved.

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