Obasanjo Olusegun
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday narrated his prisons experience and declared that he did three things while he was in Yola and Kirikiri prisons serving a jail term for a phantom coup charges by the late military dictator, Sani Abacha.

He also said there should be no position that a man should  find himself in life where he should not be useful to God.

He also posited that the major challenge in life was not how to stay alive but “what to live for and what to live with.”

Obasanjo said this while recalling his experience as an inmate in Yola Prison where he said he met a hardened armed robber and serial murderer, Baba Ali, who he preached to and later sent to the bible school and who has today become a pastor over a Baptist Church.

The ex-President spoke at Shepherdhill Baptist Church, Obanikoro, Lagos, where the Lagos State Baptist Conference held a thanksgiving service to mark his 80th birthday.

The programme was tagged, “Special Commemorative, Commendation and Congratulatory Birthday Service.”

Recalling his time as an inmate, Obasanjo said he did three remarkable things, which were that he built a church while in prison; started a farm, converted Baba Ali to a Christian and served as prison pastor.

He narrated, “There’s a difference between joy and happiness. In prison, I had joy but it will be madness for me to say that when I was in prison I was happy. How can you be in prison and say you are happy? But I was having the joy of God with me, not for one day was I sad. And I am grateful to God for the experience that I had in the prison.

“I will mention three things that God made me to do when I was in Yola Prison. One, God made me to build a church. It’s very unusual, I asked the authorities for  land, they were reluctant, but eventually they gave me land and immediately, we started getting donations. It was started before I left Yola. Wherever you are, you can still be useful to the work of God.

“Secondly, there was a parcel of land, which was not being used for anything, so, I told the prison authorities that I wanted to farm. They were reluctant but eventually they granted me the permission to farm and I grew enough beans to feed all the inmates and the warders. Don’t remain idle, get something doing.”

The third thing he did, Obasanjo said, was at Kirikiri Prison in Lagos where he took over as the prison pastor.

He said he took over as prison pastor because the prison authorities banned preachers from coming in after some white garments preachers who came to preach had helped some inmates to escape by dressing them in white garments.

He said, “They made sure we did not receive anybody from outside to come and preach to us or fellowship with us. So, I took over as the prison pastor. And there was a boy whom they had introduced to me, his nickname was Baba Ali. Baba Ali was the head of the armed robbers in the North. And if you were an armed robber and you came to the prison, you must first of all go and pay homage to Baba Ali. If you were going out, you must go to Baba Ali and ask him for instruction on what you had to do next.

“So, I called Baba Ali one day and said, ‘You are not coming to fellowship; I want you to be coming to the fellowship.’ He said, ‘Baba, don’t worry me; don’t worry me at all because God can never forgive me. I have killed so many people in my life; I have drunk the blood of so many people; I have eaten the flesh of so many people and God will never forgive me, so, don’t waste your time about me.’

“I left Baba Ali on that occasion, and I waited for some time before I went back and said, ‘Baba Ali, you know all you said that you are a murderer, whether you killed only one person or a thousand people, you are a murderer;  but have you forgotten that Moses was a murderer but God used him to bring the people of Israel out of Egypt? David was a murderer but God called him a man after my heart.

“By the time I was leaving the prison, I told Baba Ali that if he was able to make it and he would like to go to bible school, I would send him to bible school. Baba Ali came out of prison two years after me. By the time he came out I had become the President of Nigeria. It took him two years to get through to me, when he got to me, I reminded him  of our agreement and he said he was ready to go to the bible school. So, I sent him to the seminary. Baba Ali spent two years in the seminary, today Baba Ali is the pastor of a Baptist Church. What is more? Baba Ali’s junior brother took after him and has also become a pastor.”

The church presented Obasanjo with a bible, a bell and a bottle of olive oil.

He was accompanied by his wife Bola, Senator Olorunnibe Mamora among others.

Photo Source: Premium Times
Former  world heavyweight boxing Champion Evander Holyfield  has been scheduled to  feature in an  exhibition boxing match that will pit him against former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

According to  Foluke Michael, the Project Manager of the fight, tagged “Rumbles in Lagos’’, the match will hold on  May 25 at the Eko Atlantic City. Holyfield is 54, while Tinubu is 65.

It will be  refereed by Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka.

Tinubu,  in his endorsement of the BAT v Holyfield bout, said,  “I can’t wait to knock Evander down. I’m the real champion of the world.’’

The private sector-initiated event is designed as a contribution to the 50th anniversary celebration of the creation of Lagos State under the ongoing project, Lagos @50, chaired by Soyinka.

“Significantly, it is aimed at bringing world attention to some health-related issues in Africa, and will focus on cases such as autism in children, breast cancer, mental Illness and HIV/AIDS and river blindness,” Michael added.

She said  event would  donate five 40ft. containers of medical and relief materials worth over $2m to the Lagos State Government and neighbouring states.

Michael said part of the proceeds from the fight would be given to not-for-profit organisations and agencies in Lagos, which engage on research programmes aimed at eradicating these medical conditions.

The charity fight is promoted by ACI Entertainment and Bishop Entertainment Consult based in Atlanta, Georgia.

The exceptionality of development-oriented messiah of respective domain is the strangeness of their rare appearance.  That accounts for the reason why such personality is an expensive gem, once in a blue moon messenger and committed soul concomitantly improving peoples` living standard. Worthy of note is the mysterious and bizarre combination most of these gems are made of. The subjects, stooges and generation of such messenger are one of the luckiest beneficiaries. Among the timed generation are the indigenes, visitors, traders and external publics of Iwo, an ancient city in Osun West Senatorial District of Osun State. Few of those rare committed soul is the first class paramount ruler of Iwoland, HRM Oba (Dr) Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi,  Telu I. 

I named him “DIVINED MONARCH OF THE MASSES”. Why? Everything about him is message, not for the fools but for the wise. Contest one of his styles and I tell you where you belong.

It is of note that the facilitator that engineered the formation of Iwo was a female monarch at Ile-Ife. Her name was Luwo Gbagida, the first female Ooni and 16th Ooni of Ife. He commanded her son, Adekola Telu to leave Ife with crown and settled at a place where he sees speaking objects not human being. Of great surprise is the peculiarity of 16th in the coming of Telu I, the 16th Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Adewale Akanbi. The uniqueness of the monarch calls for suspicion between and among those who could read between the lines. The natural law of synchronization stays and abides with Oba Akanbi, Telu I of the progressive Iwolites.

Oba Akanbi, the active Oluwo of Iwoland is the 16th monarch of the ancient city, an unplanned coincident with his mother, Luwo Gbagida, the 16th Ooni of Ife. Just like Gbagida, Oluwo stool has been managed by the past 15th crowns. Succession upon succession produced Oba Akanbi as the 16th occupier of the stool. His installation was greeted with resounding applause sensing the blessing attached to the coming of a spiritual monarch of Iwo. The first class ruler is an asset of many developmental colours. He compromised his policies but not his principles to lubricate the promotion of his domain. Oluwo, whom I tagged “The Monarch of Number” is exceptionally blessed with divine commandment which is product of holy crown. Everything about him is message, even to the blind, the deaf and the dump. If you accused him of much expression, have you forgotten Iwo is home of parrot. Oluwo is miraculously blessed and guided with 16.

Inadvertently, Oba Akanbi coronation was held on 16th Januray, 2016 even without his consent. As an observer, I noticed there must be message. Since then, prior to my appointment as his Chief Press Secretary in  February this year,  I visit him on 16th of the month occasionally for his royal blessing. Undoubtedly, he was sent for a purpose. The purpose of which is pure, undiluted and rare mostly among his colleagues. The divined spirituality of Oluwo is incontestable and was further affirmed in the power of 16th, the pure holistic 16 and not the ritualize 16.

Taken aback, the new gift (son) from the Creator to Oluwo was catapulted to the earth on the 16th November, 2016, most bizarre indeed. To establish his leadership role model, Oluwo named the child Oduduwa.

I will warn the readers of my composition to restrict my monopolized advantage of royal blessing of 16th of every month to myself. Otherwise, my office will beseech Oluwo to declare holiday for himself on every 16th. The spirituality of Oluwo`s making is surrounded by the date and should not be taken with levity by the indigenes, visitors, traders and external publics of the town (Iwo). Some observers have posited that every Iwo market day that falls on 16th witnessed exceptional turn out.
Today, with the 16th Oluwo of Iwo,  HRM Oba (Dr.) Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, Oluwo has recorded unprecedented recognition and landmark achievements propelled by the monarch. Oba Akanbi has rehabilitated ten 10-year abandoned road (Iwo Osogbo road), commenced meals distribution for the less privileged, inaugurated children day celebration, provides jobs for the unemployed, procured health facilities worth billion to the state hospitals, patches potholes in Iwo, registered Iwo to the outside world and many more.

Alli Ibraheem, Chief Press Secretary to Oluwo of Iwoland.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has submitted a report to President Muhammadu Buhari linking Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and some of his aides to the diversion of about N19bn from the N522bn Paris Club refund.

The report also fingered Mr. Robert Mbonu of Melrose General Services Limited.

Mbonu is a former Managing Director of Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, the commercial bank owned by the Saraki family which was later liquidated.

The Federal Government had, in December 2016, approved the sum of N522.74bn to be paid to the 36 states of the federation as part of the reimbursement of the over-deduction on the Paris Club loan from 1995 to 2002.

The EFCC had sometimes in January discovered that the loan refunds were illegally routed through the account of the Nigeria Governors Forum by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Upon receiving the funds, the NGF, in an alleged connivance with Saraki, began remitting huge sums to private consultants who then laundered about N19bn.

According to the report, apart from the NGF, others under investigation include the Relationship Manager to the Senate President in Access Bank, Kathleen Erhimu.

Some others under probe and identified as Saraki’s aides include Obiora Amobi, Gbenga Makanjuola, Kolawole Shittu and Oladapo Idowu.

The report alleges that sometimes in December, Saraki introduced the ex-bank MD, Mbonu, to Erhimu.

Others at the meeting were Saraki’s aforementioned aides.

It added that sequel to the meeting, the sum of N3.5bn was lodged into Melrose General Services Company account number 0005892453, domiciled in Access Bank from the Nigeria Governors Forum on December 14.

The report stated that two of Saraki’s aides, Obiora Amobi and Gbenga Makanjuola, were introduced to Access Bank as representatives of Melrose General Services Limited by Mbonu to enable them to make cash withdrawals from the account.

It added that Amobi and Makanjuola made cash withdrawals in various tranches of N5m and N10m.

The report reads in part, “Based on the foregoing findings, it is clear that Robert Mbonu, the Managing Director of Melrose General Services Company and his company were used to help divert proceeds of unlawful activities under the guise of payment for contractual obligations with the Nigeria Governors Forum.

“Suffice to apprise that all payments received by Melrose General Services Company from the NGF have hitherto been diverted directly via cash withdrawals and indirectly through transfers by Gbenga Peter Makanjuola, Kolawole Shittu and Oladapo Joseph Idowu, who are principal aides to the Senate President.

“Furthermore, other payments from Melrose General Services Company have also been linked to companies that Dr. Bukola Saraki has interest in and carries out transactions with.

“This includes the sum of $183,000, which was transferred to Bhaska Devji Jewellers, Dubai, a company Dr. Bukola Saraki had repeatedly made payments to.

“Also, the sum of N200m was transferred to Wasp Networks Limited that subsequently transferred the sum of N170m to Xtract Energy Services Limited, a company that routinely made deposits into Dr. Saraki’s Access Bank US Dollar Domiciliary account.”

The report concludes that a prima facie case of conspiracy to retain the proceeds of unlawful activities  and money laundering, contrary to sections 15(3) and 18(9) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2004, could be established against the aforementioned suspects.

“Additionally, investigation into their personal accounts is ongoing,” it adds.

When contacted, the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, who spoke on behalf of Saraki, said he would not react except he sighted the report.

“Send the report to me and I will be able to read it and contact the necessary people. If I don’t see the report, I cannot react to it in abstract. Send me the report if you want our reaction,” he said.

The spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that investigations were ongoing into the Paris Club scam.

He, however, said he did not know the specifics of the investigations.

“I can only confirm that there are investigations but I don’t have details,” Uwujaren said

Oluwo of Iwoland, HRM Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, Telu I has described Iwo as a virile city of great impact, saying he loves the people of the community more than himself. The monarch disclosed his loyalty to Iwo and Nigeria in general as incontestable, pointing his service to his people has cost him to leave his new baby and family in Canada for long.

The statement was contained in a press release by his press secretary, Alli Ibraheem following the conversation with the monarch over the weekend.

Oluwo said he ought to have visited his family in Canada and facilitate external investors but was halted because of his dare need to put smile in his immediate peoples` faces through his service to humanity. He disclosed the situation of Iwo requires short-term means best achieved by sweeping our house from inside. The monarch disclosed he need no visa to travel to anywhere in the world but sees no sense in frequently jetting out of Nigeria when his people are suffering.

He said his trip was not only to reunite with his family but also to facilitate foreign investors to Iwoland to make the city one of the foremost economic hubs of State of Osun and Nigeria as a whole.

Oba Akanbi pointed his compassionate programmes ranging from Oluwo Food Bank designed to give free meals to the less privileged three days a week and others continue despite his absence, affirmed all arrangements were concluded before his departure.

“Oluwo is a worthy father. He loves the people of Iwo and Nigerians as whole. My love and service to my people has been postponing my travelling. I can`t just live my people like that. That is why before I travelled, I made provision for everything needed so that the people I feed will not suffer before my return. I love Iwolites more than myself and my children”.

“I don’t need visa to travel to any part of the world but my patriotic zeal to Iwoland, seeing smile in my peoples` faces is my utmost joy postponing my journey for long. You don’t sweep your house from outside, you sweep from inside. I must take care of my people before any trip”

“My coming to Canada is not only to reunite with family but also to facilitate investors that will establish companies in Iwo. And it is yielding. I just left a meeting with some private Canadian investors and government in Canada here and it is fruitful. Iwo will be great soon. There is silver-lining of hope in the sky. I will urge my people to stop selling land for peanut but instead lease because those lands will appreciate unimaginably when the companies come”

Hameed Ali
A group, known as Movement for Good Governance, MGG has condemned the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali over his refusal to wear the Service uniform to appear before the Nigerian Senate.

The group in a statement signed by its Chairman, Comrade Ajibade Oyayeye decried the attitude of the Custom CG, saying his attitude is capable of holding the entire nation ransom of progress and developments.

Comrade Ajibade said Hameed Ali is just a retired colonel in the army, hence, there are so many colonels in the Nigerian army both retired and still serving but there is only one controller general of customs at a time. Therefore if Ali has accepted to take up the assignment he should endeavor to put on the custom uniform if truly he is not bigger than the entire nation.

The Senate had a few weeks ago summoned the Custom CG to appear before it over the planned tariff on the old vehicle. The move which has since been suspended following public outcry.

The Custom CG had obliged to appear before the Senate, but blatantly objected to wearing the Customs Service uniform. Truth to his stance, Ali appeared before the Senate last two week but in mufti, he was sent back by angry Senators who wanted him in his uniform by all means.

He was billed to appear last week but he refused to honour the invitation, citing lawsuit in the said saga.

Also condemned by the group is the Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir David Lawal who was summoned by the Senate over the scandalous contract of grass cutting involving millions of naira.

 Babachir has also refused to appear before the Senate. Though he has later recanted and has promised to appear in the next appointed date.

The CGG Chairman, Comrade Ajibade said in his statement that no individual is bigger than the Nigerian Senate, representing the whole nation. he, however, want the duo of Ali and Babachir be sanctioned should they refuse to honour the Senate.

The group equally want the Chairman of the Economic and Finacial Crime Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu to be confirmed as substantive chairman of the commission.

He condemned the Senate desperate move to frustrate the embattled EFCC chairman. He Said Magu has done a lot in fighting against corruption. He praised Magu over his many feats, especially his loot recovery efforts since assuming the antigraft Chairmanship position. 
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