Conte: Title Race Is Now 50-50

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Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte has shouldered the blame for the 2-0 away loss suffered by the premier league leaders.

Rashford and Ander Herrera scored the goals in the Old Trafford game, and Conte believes the title is now a 50-50 shot.

Conte told Sky Sports: “I think they deserved to win. They showed more desire than us and more motivation, but in this case the fault is with the coach.

“In this case I wasn’t able to transfer the right motivation to play this type of game.”

“We lost two games. The two games were totally different – we didn’t deserve to lose against [Crystal] Palace – today we deserved to lose. There are six finals until now and the end. The league is open. We have a 50 per cent probability of winning the league.

“The pressure is normal – I prefer to have the pressure rather than not fight for the title and to joke in very moment. We are lucky to have the pressure – last season Chelsea had no pressure as they were 10th place.

“Something important is happening this season. We are doing a quick job, a miracle this season considering the problems last season.”

He added: “I am concerned, we have to work together and find quickly the right desire and ambition to win this title.

“For us it is a fantastic target. For me if we were able to reach this target it would be a miracle. We must understand this and find the right motivation.

“We stay in a great position, but Tottenham are in good form and playing very well and with enthusiasm. We must have the same.”

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Mourinho: United Controlled Chelsea

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Jose Mourinho has praised his side for their display in the 2-0 win over table topping Chelsea.

The Portuguese manager has hailed his side for controlling the game, with Rashford and Ander Herrera scoring the goals.

Mourinho fielded the same team that lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup, and is pleased to get the win this time around.

When asked what made him go with counter-attacking tactics, Mourinho told Sky Sports: “The same thing that made me go to Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup with the same tactics. Maybe we didn’t rest [players] we just chose the team that we thought was the best team.

“That game was totally controlled when we played with 11 players, and only the decision that made us play with 10 players gave Chelsea a chance to be dominant.

“We knew that playing this way would be very difficult for them.”

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Klitschko: Joshua Is A Copy Of Me

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Wladimir Klitschko is looking forward to face Anthony Joshua come April 29, who he believes is a copy of him.

Klitschko lost his IBF and WBA title to Tyson Fury and will try to win those titles back, when he fights his old sparring partner.

“We look alike, size-wise. Arm length is pretty much the same,” the 41-year-old said.

“Biceps? Maybe in this smaller t-shirt (he points to a smiling Joshua) you look better. Punching power, we don’t need to talk about.

“There are a lot of equal things. Preparation, camp, altitude training, nutrition. We can name a lot of things. The more I look at it, it’s a copy. Different, but in a certain way it’s a copy.

“But I’m obsessed with my goal to raise my hands after the fight and leave the ring as the winner.

“After having the experience in my last fight (against Tyson Fury)…I’m not happy with that. But this obsession, in other words, is like a threat going through my heart and my mind, and I totally love it.”

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Kebbi To Declare State Of Emergency In Education Sector

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Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State has said that he would declare a state of emergency in the education sector in the state.

This is coming due to the low number of children in the state competing for places in the Federal Government colleges.

Easter Celebration: Private, Public Schools In Lagos To Resume On April 18

Addressing members of the Kebbi Development Forum (KDF), in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital on Sunday, Bagudu said the policy would improve teaching and learning in the state.

The governor averred that education is the bedrock of development hence the resolve of his administration to rejuvenate the sector.

Out of the 78,378 pupils that participated in the recent 2017 National Common Entrance Examination, to book places in unity colleges, Kebbi had the least number of candidates. It had 63, a sharp contrast with Lagos which had 24,816 candidates.

Bagudu,who decried the low standard of education in the state, said his administration would work with stakeholders to transform the sector,adding,” We would improve upon the human capacity problems in all levels of education”.

He said he would constitute a stakeholders “consensus committee’’ on education stressing that his administration would recruit more teachers, provide equipment to schools and improve teachers’ welfare.

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Why Ponzi Schemes Thrive In Nigeria Despite N18bn Loss To MMM

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Why Ponzi Schemes Thrive In Nigeria Despite N18bn Loss To MMM – Simon Echewofun

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About 109 Ponzi schemes and crypto-currency sites are still trending in the Nigerian cyber sphere despite the crash of the popular Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox (MMM), which caused the loss of an acclaimed N18 billion in December 2016.

This article was written by Simon Echewofun and was first published on Daily Trust. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

In March 2017, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC) said Nigerians lost N18 billion to the MMM in 2016. The managing director of the commission, Mr Umaru Ibrahim, who spoke at the 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair, said the MMM had over  three million participants before the organisers suspended payment to investors because its system “experienced heavy workload.”

However, Daily Trust on Sunday observed that most MMM participants who suffered the disappointment turned to other schemes to reclaim their funds.

Again! FG Warns Nigerians Against MMM, Bitcoin, Other Ponzi Schemes

Ponzi schemes have been explained by experts to be an unsustainable financial system, whereby old investors are paid with proceeds of investments from new ones. The scheme survives only when it gets new investors; the dearth of such marks its end, leaving the most recent investors with huge losses.

The financial pyramid system became popular in Nigeria from September 2016 after the Federal Government officially announced economic recession.

Many participants said they entered into such schemes as an alternative means of survival. Popular among them were the MMM, Ultimate Cycler, Swiss Gold, iCharity and Get Help Worldwide (GHW).

By January 2017, the schemes had added a new twist – the crypto-currency, another name for virtual currency. While ‘bit coin’ has existed for long in the United States and other countries as internet currency for virtual trade and casino gaming, the angle of using it for the Ponzi scheme became popular in Nigeria from late 2016.

The digital currency being created by many Ponzi sites does not have any value outside the group; hence it becomes useless when many people tend to withdraw from such site, our reporter observed.

Below are some of the popular sites and the headaches of participants.

MMM Nigeria:  It is said to have been founded by a Russian, Sergei Mavrodi. It became popular in Nigeria by July 2016 and collapsed in December 2016, after it suspended payment to the accounts of acclaimed  three million participants. It was restarted in January 2017, but with most of the old participants’ fund still hanging. Some participants believe the site is still paying.

Lawrence Ekhator said he paid someone N20,000 on February 10, 2017 and got back N149,000 12 days after, including bonuses. “This is an indication that MMM

Nigeria is working and has been doing their best to get the system back in full blast. I am very happy and proud of it,” Ekhator noted.

Aniri Ebere Sylvanus is not happy with MMM. She said: “Deceivers! Pay me my old Mavro to show that you are making life better!”

Others confirmed that the MMM is paying a little part of their lost fund of 2016. One of them, Paschal Maduemesi, said on a Facebook page, “MMM paid a little part of my 2016 money and four of my downlines.”

Get Help Worldwide: This platform became popular in Nigeria on October 2016. The founders, on their site, said they examined the flaws of the MMM and corrected them. Those who participated said it worked perfectly until February 2017 when people began defaulting in payment. The problem was said to have worsened in March, prompting the site to move members to a new site known as Get Help Worldwide Exclusive.

Speaking on the status of the scheme, a participant, Hammed Olaide Salam, called for help from administrators over a displeasing rule. He said they were being compelled to pay others (Provide Help), even when they had not been paid

“What do we do? There is no money to Provide Help again and they said our account would be blocked if we fail to do it,” Salam said.

Abdul John, who has been in the scheme for four months, said one should never expect to get back 100 per cent of the fund invested. “People often default in payment; and others could upload a fake payment receipt, which hooks your money for a very long time while the site authenticates it,” he said.

Olugbade Olugbenga, another participant, was visibly angry on his Facebook page as he demanded for his money. “GHW, bring back my money,” he wrote.

Twinkas: It was founded in December 2016 for Nigerians, with a claim that it was based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Some participants said the site was crashing heavily as many investors were yet to be paid since February 2017. Many of the participants, however, said Twinkas was better than all others in the first two months it started.  It is 100 per cent of whatever one invests, with options of up to N200,000 investment.

Many participants are not happy with the scheme. When Twinkas apologised for the slow payment this week on its Facebook page, it was greeted with discontent.

Osayande Rawlings Onuwa said it wasn’t working.

“Guys are not smiling oh,” responded a participant identified as Obende Topaz Fortune.

But a few others think the scheme is doing well. One of such is Nazzy Goodness Michael. “Twinkas rocks!” he exclaimed.

“Long live Twinkas,” another participant, Akintade Ayodele responded.

OneCoin, a crypto-currency site: OneCoin became popular in January 2017, with seminars organised in some Abuja hotels. Some members told our reporter that they were having difficulties to get paid as many accounts are being frozen. However, to attract more participants, the site does a N1,000 airtime contest daily. On its site, the scheme stated, “From 2015 to 2017, our two-year track record has proven how safe and successful OneCoin is.”

Murtala Garba, one of the participants of the scheme, said he was expecting his proceeds after he invested and hoped to do business with his money.

Ekalo SB Attahson said: “I will invest in a small or medium business, earn more profit and become a supporter to OneCoin when it is successful.”

Another ambitious participant, Blessing Ebere said, “I will use part of the money to invest back by upgrading to a higher package, use part of the remaining money to buy a plot of land and the remaining to start up a business.”

It was, however, gathered that most of the participants are yet to get any real proceed from OneCoin as they were promised a six-month maturity period, probably starting from June this year.

As at April 2017, the new and active schemes include Fast Recycler, Esusu, Giverscorner and Naira Donation.

It was reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had closed two of such wonder banks. Marian Moses, founded by Moses Samanja and Tine God Networks, with an unknown founder were affected.

An economist and financial analyst, Mr. Ogbuja Ogbu, told our reporter in Abuja that an average of two Ponzi sites opened in Nigeria on a weekly basis. He said they were thriving because of the vulnerable nature of Nigerians.

“Many participants of the MMM scheme were disappointed, yet other sites are being patronised. Some of the sites even said they had learnt from the flaws of the MMM and made their sites more sustainable.

“A Ponzi scheme can never be sustained. The only albatross it needs to crash is managing the influx of crowd on such sites. But by then they would have made huge sums of money for themselves,” Ogbu explained.

As Nigerians still flood these unreliable schemes, the NDIC has repeatedly warned of its inherent dangers.

Speaking at the 28th Enugu International Trade Fair last week, the NDIC boss, Umaru, warned participants against patronising the various Ponzi platforms and other forms of trending digital currencies. He noted that the platforms were neither authorised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) nor insured.

Umaru, who was represented by the Enugu zonal controller of the commission, Nicholas Ayuba, said the NDIC had commissioned a study on the virtual and digital currencies to help protect consumers, educate them financially and secure the nation’s economic development.

Photo credit: Daily Trust

This article was written by Simon Echewofun and was first published on Daily Trust. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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Nigeria Eases Documentation Procedures At Seaports

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The Federal Government, through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), has approved the reduction of documentation procedures of imports and exports in Nigerian seaports.

Mr Anthony Ayalogu, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs and Desk Officer in charge of Ease of Doing Business, disclosed this at a two-day sensitisation workshop on Ease of Doing Business Reform held in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was meant to help improve Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business Index in 2018.

Ayalogu explained that documentation of imports had reduced from 14 to eight stages, while export documentation had reduced from 10 to seven.

According to him, Cargo Release Order, Manufacturers’ Certificate of Production, Payment Receipt of Customs Fee; among others, have been removed from documentation.

Ayalogu said the new imports and exports procedures include: palletising all containerised consignments coming into Nigeria for easy clearance.

Dr Jumoke Oduwole, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, had earlier said trading across borders involved obtaining credits, paying taxes and having access to electricity supply.

Mr Sule Alu, an Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of Tariffs and Trade, said the forum was meant to improve Customs mandate on trade facilitation.

Also speaking, the Customs Area Comptroller, Tin-Can Island Customs Command, Comptroller Umar Bashar, urged both Customs officers and stakeholders to continue to display transparency in cargo clearance processes.


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$5m Email Scam: FBI Declares Nigerian Wanted, Offers $1,000 Reward For Tips Leading To His Arrest

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The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has declared Kelechi Declan James, a Nigerian, wanted for allegedly defrauding victims across the States by tricking them into wiring money to bank accounts.

According to a publication issued on Friday on its website, James is wanted on “Federal Criminal Charges Relating to a Fraudulent E-Mail Scheme That Resulted in Victim Losses of More Than $5 Million.

FBI declares Nigerian Kelechi Declan James wanted for alleged $5 million email scam

FBI declares Nigerian Kelechi Declan James wanted for alleged $5 million email scam

It is understood that the accused has federal criminal charges against him from an investigation by FBI New York’s Cyber Crime Task Force.

James is 32 years old, 6’0″ tall, and approximately 175 pounds. He is a Nigerian national, has brown eyes and black hair, and may have a beard. Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of James is urged to contact law enforcement immediately.

As alleged in a complaint sworn out of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, James, along with four other co-conspirators, ran a business e-mail compromise scheme that “resulted victim losses of more than $5 million.”

As part of scheme, James and his co-conspirators defrauded victims across the U.S. by tricking them into wiring money to bank accounts – the victims believed were owned by family members, friends, or business associates.

They did this in two ways: by overtaking an e-mail account of an individual trusted by the victim and then requesting money be wired to a bank account; or by developing a relationship of trust with victim like an Internet romance and then asking the victim to wire money.

As soon as the money was wired, it would be moved from one account to another, and the funds would be withdrawn. James’s role in this scheme was to withdraw the money from bank accounts.

The Premier investigation agency is offering a $1,000 reward for information that will lead to his arrest.

The FBI can be reached 24 hours a day at (212) 384-1000.

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“Begging Has No Basis In Islam” – Sultan Of Sokoto

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The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, says begging has no basis in Islam, challenging those engaging in the act to find legitimate means of earning a living.

‘If Nigeria Is Broken Into Components, Northern Region Will Be Poorest’ – Emir Sanusi

The top religious leader made the remark in Sokoto at the graduation of 2,000 women trained in various skills by the Wife of Sokoto State Governor, Mairo Tambuwal.

The training, which was conducted in collaboration with the state Zakkat and Endowment Commission, had participants from the 86 districts of the state.

“Our women should always desist from street begging, as it has no base in Islam and it only generates more harm than good among the society,” he said.

“Women have always been the pillars for any societal development, so we need to do more in encouraging and supporting their living standard in order to yield a better society.

“Moreover, empowering women is one of the positive base to a better, secured and productive society.”

He lauded Mrs Tambuwal for initiating the programme and also admonished the beneficiaries to utilize the opportunity to enhace their livelihood.

Boko Haram: Nigeria Marks 3 Years Since Chibok Schoolgirls’ Abduction

The monarch is the President-General of the Nigerian Islamic Council for Islamic Affairs.

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Nigeria’s Oil Production Falls From 2 Million To 1.2 Million Barrels Per Day

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The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has said that Nigeria’s crude oil production has fallen from two million barrels per day to as low as 1.27 million bpd.

The Punch quoted OPEC as saying that the West African giant produced 1.269 million bpd in March.

The 13-member oil cartel, in its newly released monthly oil market report for April, said Nigeria recorded the biggest decline of 157,000 bpd last month.

Few days after Italy’s Eni lifted force majeure on Brass River crude oil exports from Nigeria in February, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said crude oil production had risen to two million bpd.

However, early March, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) shut down the Bonga field to enable it to commence turnaround maintenance on it, a development that has reduced oil production and exports.

SNEPCo also said production from the field is expected to resume at the conclusion of the exercise this month.

The Bonga Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading vessel has the capacity to produce 225,000 barrels of oil and 150 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.

The shutdown of the Bonga field came a year after Shell declared force majeure on Forcados oil exports after the terminal was shut. It has yet to be lifted as of the time of filing this report.

Earlier, Kachikwu had said Nigeria was now producing oil at about two million barrels  per day, while Maikanti Baru, the group managing director  of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the country had progressed to 2.1 million barrels per day.

Addressing stakeholders at the 2017 Nigeria oil and gas conference and exhibition, Baru said the ongoing negotiations with stakeholders in the Niger Delta is responsible for the surge.

“Crude production has steadily increased to 2.1m b/d due to some strategic dialogue efforts embarked upon by the federal government in the Niger Delta,” Baru had said.

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Looters Now Burying Money In Cemeteries, Deep Forests – Nigerian Govt

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The Federal Government has said that looters of public funds have resorted to burying the ‘stolen monies’ in their backyards, deep forests and burial grounds.

Wike, NIA Battle Over Ownership Of N13bn Seized By EFCC

Speaking on behalf of the Nigerian government on Sunday in a statement issued by Segun Adeyemi, his spokesman, Lai Mohammad, minister of information and culture, said the whistle blower policy is working and has led to the recovery of more looted funds in many currencies.

He lauded the anti-graft agency and the whistle-blower policy, describing it as an effective tool of fighting corruption in Nigeria.

In the statement, Mr. Mohammed assured that all the recovered looted funds were safe and government will give full account to Nigerians.

EFCC Uncovers $38m, £27k, N23m In A ‘Private Residence’ In Ikoyi (VIDEO)

The minister thanked Nigerians for their enthusiasm and commitment in helping the government to tackle corruption through disclosure of useful leads to appropriate government agencies.

“Since we launched the whistle blower policy, we have received immeasurable support from Nigerians.

“Yes, there is monetary reward for any information that leads to recovery of looted funds, but from what we have seen, most of the Nigerians who have come forward with useful leads were driven by patriotism rather than reward.

“Nigerians, fired by a fervid resolve to help banish corruption from their country, have daily inundated the offices of the appropriate government agencies with valuable information.

“We have been told how looters have resorted to burying stolen funds in their backyards, in deep forests and even in burial grounds.

” Thanks to whistle-blowers, it is now clear that a rapacious few have pillaged the nation’s wealth through a vicious orgy of corrupt practices,” he said.

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Abuja Airport Rehabilitation: Runway Will Be Ready 2 Days Ahead Of Deadline

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has stated that the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, would be ready by April 17, two days ahead of the deadline.

FG Formally Announces Closure Of Abuja Airport

The assurance was given by the Managing Director, FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, in a statement signed by the media consultant to the Minister of State for Aviation, Ariyo Akinfenwa, on Sunday in Lagos.

The statement read: “We will be ready April 17 but we are leaving the remaining two days for Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“We have written to them and they will come by today (Sunday) to do the preliminary inspection.

“They have to certify the airport that what we have done is in accordance with their standards.

“They have to certify the airport that what we have done is in accordance with their standards.

” If there is any observation as a result of the inspection, we will now make sure we carry out corrections.”

FG Bans Helicopter Shuttle From Kaduna To Abuja

The FAAN boss, while inspecting the progress of work at the airport, maintained that with the work done, the April 19 deadline for the reopening of the airport is no longer in doubt.

“All the critical items of work are 100 per cent except may be two items; which of course are the markings and the cleaning.

“Asphalt work is 100 per cent, markings have reached almost 70 per cent and the airfield lighting system has reached 80 per cent,” Mr. Dunoma added.

He added: ”We are now levelling all the airfield lightings’ locations, all the installations and flash with the ground surface.

“In case of any skidding, there will not be concrete projection above the ground surface.”

He also said the new runway does not need calibration because the previous Navigational Aids were not tampered with.

“The runway does not need calibration. All we need to check is to make sure there is 100 per cent illumination.

“Calibration is done periodically. When the time come for calibration, the appropriate authority will calibrate the Instrument Landing System (ILS),” he said.

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Hazard: Kante Should Win Player Of The Year

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Eden Hazard has stated he would rather N’golo Kante won the PFA Player of the Year award than he claiming it.

The Chelsea teammates are leading the race to win the individual accolade , after putting on displays that has led Chelsea to the top of the table.

Hazard is putting on the same display reminiscent of the last time Chelsea won the league and he the PFA award. He has scored 14 topflight goals.

Kante on the other hand, is putting on the same display, that helped Leicester lift the title last season.

And Hazard is hoping Kante can break the barrier of goalscorers winning the award.

In an interview with Telefoot , he said: “I hope it will be him, it would change a bit of the guy who always scores, which is always decisive.

“He is less decisive on the field than a forward. But it would reward the two good seasons he made. Of course, I would like to have this title of best player too, but if I have to choose I would give it to him.”

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The Nigerian Presidency As A Foster Parent Of Crimes

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The Nigerian Presidency As A Foster Parent Of Crimes, By Pius Adesanmi

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Those who are confounded or surprised that the stash of cash found in Ikoyi – we have at least, hopefully, gone beyond the point of denying that cash was found – is now gradually snaking its way from the realms of crime and corruption to the less seedy atmosphere of a legitimate stash owned by the National Intelligence Agency have not been paying attention to the history of the Nigerian presidency.

This piece was written by Pius Adesanmi. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Once that cover of legitimacy and purpose is given to the stash, a certain mission is accomplished and I will return to that mission presently. All that is left is a little bit more of national whining – NIA was a bit careless in handling her money, EFCC as usual was not up to par, and the Lagos State government tori Olorun! You don’t know who owns properties and flats within the properties. No records? No taxes? Even Oba Ado, who ruled from 1630 – 1669 as the first Oba of Lagos, kept better records. But, thank God sha, the money is legit. No crime was really committed. Just incompetence by NIA, EFCC, Lagos State government, etc.

Those who are surprised that things appear to be moving along these lines ignore the long history of the Nigerian state – embodied by the presidency – in serving as the foster parent of high crimes committed by Nigerians who operate above the state, above the constitution, above all mechanisms and apparatuses of the Nigerian state – Generals, powerful political dynasties, powerful economic dynasties, old money, etc. Once in a while, some new money is allowed into this hallowed circle of the owners of Nigeria. Some very powerful prosperity Pentecostal mega-Pastors are also members of the club.

There is no high stakes, global-level crime in Nigeria that occurs beyond the orbit of this powerful confederacy of illicit interests. Yet, they must not be touched for they are sacred cows. A Nigerian president serves at their pleasure, holds the presidency in trust for them.

It is in this sense that the Nigerian state has repeatedly had to serve as a foster parent of high stakes crimes for much of our post-colonial history, providing cover, providing rationalisation, providing a coherent narrative for such crimes, and, where necessary, providing prosecutable fall guys who face heavily mediatised trials.

Forget the Ikoyi billions for a while and come down memory lane with me. Nothing much. Just recent memory.

In 2004, Nigeria recorded another first in her long history of high stakes criminality when two mega oil tankers, MT African Pride and MT Jimoh, vanished into thin air after having been arrested for oil bunkering by the Nigerian authorities. Yes, two oil tankers, containing millions of barrels of crude oil, just simply vanished in broad daylight from Nigerian custody.

The international embarrassment was great for Nigeria. How can two mega oil tankers just vanish? Eventually sha, they found MT Jimoh. Eventually sha, some naval officers (fall guys) faced a court martial and were dismissed from the Navy.

Had my five-year-old daughter followed this story, even she would have understood that the crime we are talking about was way beyond the pay grade of the naval officers arrested and convicted by the Nigerian state. She would have understood that the Nigerian state – the presidency – became the foster parent of that crime to protect very powerful people – the sacred cows in the confederacy of illicit interests. The Nigerian state provided a cover, a coherent narrative for an extensive crime. Some naval officers were arrested, tried, and jailed.

End. Of. Story.

Siemens and Halliburton are other examples of high stakes crimes in the foster care of the Nigerian presidency. All the individuals involved are Generals and old money – members plenipotentiary of the confederacy of illicit interests in charge of Nigeria, hence their crimes must be owned and given cover by the Nigerian presidency.

Malabu, the latest entrant into the firmament of high stakes crimes, boasts Don Fortunato as protagonist, just as Siemens and Halliburton boasted Obasanjo, Abdulsalam Abubakar, and other Generals as protagonists.

There were threats of trials and rumbles of prosecution for Siemens and Halliburton but only the unweary did not know that the Nigerian presidency was on its way to adopting the two crimes into its foster care. There are threats of trials and rumbles of prosecution for Malabu but Don Fortunato is also a member of the family – the confederacy of illicit interests. In time, Malabu will disappear into the archives of crimes owned by the Nigerian state to protect individuals.

A jet was caught ferrying illicit cash to South Africa. The narrative involved a jet owned or leased by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, de facto Pastor-General of the Federation and spiritual leader of the Nigerian president at the time. The Nigerian state moved in to own that crime as its foster parent.

Even more intriguing and less known to the public was the high-level involvement of the Nigerian state in protecting Pastor T.B. Joshua by literally owning and foster parenting his crime.

Pastor T.B. Joshua violated extant building codes in Lagos State, his building collapsed, making him criminally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people, especially South Africans. The South African state went into shock. It was the largest loss of South African lives outside of South Africa in their history.

Anger gave way to a determination by the South African state to go after T.B. Joshua. First, the South African media wanted to send investigation teams to Lagos. Suddenly and somehow, South African journalists couldn’t obtain visas to Nigeria. Abuja had given the message to its mission in South Africa: we don’t want SA journalists to come and disturb Pastor.

Then came high-media public visits by President Jonathan and Governor Raji Fashola to T.B. Joshua. Nigerians saw condolence visits on TV but that was not what was going on. What was going on was a clear message to the South Africans: we got this one. We got the Pastor’s back. He is one of ours. Back off!

Till date, T.B. Joshua has never answered for his crime. The government of Lagos state made some noise about building codes and there were rumours and rumbles of trial and prosecution before that episode settled into the archives of crimes owned by the Nigerian state as a foster parent.

Enter the Ikoyi billions and the same pattern is emerging. I am writing this piece so that President Buhari will not be deceived by his supporters and praise singers that any Nigerian is prepared to buy the silly story that the Ikoyi billions belong to NIA. I would not even insult my five-year-old daughter with such a stupid narrative. This is a familiar pattern by which yet another high-stakes crime will be owned and normalised by the Nigerian state.

It would be a shame if President Buhari allows this to happen on his watch. It would be yet another nail in the coffin of his mortally wounded anti-corruption war, another tear in the tattered rags of change. My own suspicion is that the Ikoyi funds are owned by individuals and interests spanning PDP and APC, Christians and Muslims, and a multiplicity of ethnicities.

For when members of the confederacy of illicit interests who own Nigeria commit crimes at this level, they go by a scrupulous respect for Federal character as we witnessed in the spread of Dasuki’s largesse.

Among them, there is no APC, no PDP, no Christians, no Muslims, no Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo. Only a national cake on the table. It is only among their mostly diseducated followers that you find such divisions.

The only reason that the identities of the owners of the Ikoyi billions cannot be revealed and an institution of the Nigerian state – NIA – must be given marching orders to own the crime is that there is unity of purpose in the confederacy of illicit interests. They are always wiser than their followers.

The long search continues for the president who will discontinue the role of the Nigerian Presidency as a foster parent of crimes.

Pius Adesanmi, a professor of English, is Director of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Canada.

This piece was written by Pius Adesanmi. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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Dimitar Berbatov Wants To Still Play Football After Failed Move Too Sunderland

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Dimitar Berbatov has told Goals on Sunday that he held talks with Sunderland this season, but nothing came of them.

“I want to play and to be honest I had a couple of conversations with managers, even Sunderland,” he said.

“But in the end nothing happened. When you play for football for so long, and I’m still in good shape and I’m staying in shape, football is my life.

“At this stage of my life it’s only about football now. Just to play a little bit more, one more game or one more year. To enjoy my team-mates, the football, the pitch, the fans. But as I said nothing came of it in the end so sometimes life is what it is.”

Host Ben Shephard also asked him about interest from Liverpool ahead of his move to White Hart Lane.

But he said it was Manchester United who were keen on him instead.

hephard said: “Just before you went to Tottenham I understand Liverpool came in for you?”

Berbatov responded with: “No. Before I came to Spurs it was Man United again calling my agent.

“Something happened and I don’t know what.

“I don’t know what happened.

“It was a long time ago.”

Berbatov did end up going to United in 2008, scoring 48 goals in 108 Premier League games.

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Arsenal Ready To Spend As Soon As Arsene Wenger Signs New Contract

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Arsenal are apparently ready to “splash the cash” as soon as Arsene Wenger says he is staying at the club.

Wenger’s future remains unclear, with his current deal set to expire in the summer.

But according to the Daily Mail, Schalke left-back Sead Kolasinac will be the first signing of a “major revamp”.

It is reported the Gunners are looking for a new centre-forward, a midfielder, a wide player and cover at right-back.

However, there is a recognition that they will miss out on the A-list transfer targets.

The summer will see a major turnover of players. Wojciech Szczesny and Calum Chambers, on loan at Roma and Middlesbrough, are likely to leave along with Yaya Sanogo, Mathieu Debuchy and Joel Campbell, currently on loan at Sporting.

Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs are expected to leave, while the future of Jack Wilshere, who suffered an ankle yesterday in Bournemouth’s game against Tottenham, is unclear.

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Liverpool Have No Plans To Sell Philippe Coutinho To Barcelona

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Liverpool have reportedly told Barcelona that they will not sell Philippe Coutinho.

There have been reports that the Catalans are keen on signing the Brazilian.

However, the Liverpool Echo say Liverpool “will not countenance a move whatever the offer” and both the player and his representative see his future at Anfield.

It is added that “no talks with Barcelona have taken place over Coutinho and none will happen

Philippe Coutinho only signed a new five-year contract earlier this year and the player has consistently spoke about his desire to remain at Anfield.

And the Echo claim Coutinho and his representatives have no plans of leaving Liverpool anytime soon.

On the last international break, Neymar added fuel to the speculation by admitting that he wants Coutinho to join him at Barcelona.

“A Premier League player that I would like to have in Barcelona is Coutinho,” Neymar said.

“I believe Philippe Coutinho is a player that would totally fit in Barcelona.”

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Conte Wants To Stay At Chelsea For A Long Time

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Antonio Conte has stated he wants to remain at Chelsea for a long time, as reports link him with Inter.

The Italian left Italy to join Chelsea and has been rumoured to be in talks with Inter for a possible Serie A return, after winning three straight titles with Juventus.

Conte has enjoyed success in his debut season in the EPL, leading Chelsea to the top of the table with seven games remaining.

“I hope to stay for a long time here,” Conte told Sky Sports. “Coaching is not an easy job and a lot depends on the results.

“I like to think results are important, but they are not everything. I think for every coach our work is important every day and then to be judged.

“During the game I think I show my passion and my will to not lose. I don’t want to lose. I love football and I think people understand my passion. It’s great to know that Chelsea fans are happy with me.”

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Bastian Schweinsteiger Continues Hot Form At MLS Side Chicago Fire

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Bastian Schweinsteiger scored one and set up the other two as Chicago Fire beat the New England Revolution 3-0 on Saturday evening.

The German grabbed his second goal in three matches as his impressive start to life in the MLS continued after arriving fromManchester United last month.

Schweinsteiger fired in from a tight angle just before half-time, before laying on two goals for Nemanja Nikolic in the second half.

Chicago have now won two and drawn one since the 32-year-old arrived.

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Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Rumors Today

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  • Jose Mourinho is set to make a shock move to bring Everton midfielder Ross Barkley to Manchester United in the summer.
  • Jurgen Klopp has insisted Liverpool will keep midfielder Philippe Coutinho out of the clutches of Barcelona.
  • Tottenham will offer midfielder Dele Alli a new contract worth £40m in a bid to stave off interest from Real Madrid.
  • Liverpool are set to battle Bayern Munich for Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic.
  • West Ham and Everton are interested in signing Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany.
  • Manchester City had the chance to sign Paulo Dybala, currently of Juventus, in 2015, but instead opted to buy Wilfried Bony from Swansea.
  • Granada boss Tony Adams will make a move for Everton’s Phil Jagielka in the summer.
  • Arsenal will be able to confirm transfers as soon as Arsene Wenger says he is staying at the club, with Schalke left-back Sead Kolasinac intended as the first signing of a major revamp.
  • Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is involved in a battle with Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois over who moves to Real Madrid this summer – with England No 1 Joe Hart in line to replace the winner.
  • West Bromwich Albion have joined the queue of clubs keen on Eupen striker Henry Onyekuru. The 19-year-old forward is in the running to be Belgium’s player of the year.
  • Bristol City and Sheffield United are keen on St Mirren winger Lewis Morgan.
  • Manchester United are now plotting a £125m swoop for Atletico Madrid duo Jan Oblak and Antoine Griezmann.
  • Manchester United are willing to match any offers from America or China to keep hold of Zlatan Ibrahimovic next season.
  • Burnley want Leeds centre-back Kyle Bartley to replace Michael Keane next season.
  • Arsenal are plotting for life without Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil with a £50m double swoop for Porto forward Yacine Brahimi and Schalke playmaker Max Meyer.
  • Southampton want Leeds’ defender Pontus Jansson to replace Virgil van Dijk.
  • Barcelona are planning for life without Neymar by drawing up stunning shortlist of world-class stars with Kylian Mbappe, Philippe Coutinho and Marco Verratti all being linked.
  • Chelsea will allow Diego Costa to leave in the summer and have lined up Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata to replace him.
  • Everton are ready to offer Swansea’s £30m-rated midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson £140,000-a-week to move to Goodison Park this summer.
  • Real Madrid ace Karim Benzema is considering accepting a move to Arsenal potentially worth £300,000 a week.
  • West Ham will make a move for Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic when they sack Slaven Bilic at the end of the season.
  • Brendan Rodgers will have no summer respite from the demands of being Celtic manager but declared himself relaxed about the prospect of preparing for the next campaign without a proper holiday.
  • Celtic target, striker Henry Onyekuru, has admitted Hoops interest in him as he gets ready to move on from Belgian club Eupen in summer.

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Ozil: I Pleaded With Wenger To Sign Me

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Arsenal playmaker, Mesut Ozil has revealed he instigated his move from Madrid to England by phoning Arsene Wenger.

Mourinho was left surprised by Ozil’s actions, as he thought the German wanted to end his career at Madrid.

However, the Arsenal star was not in a good place at Santiago Bernabeu, with his father falling out with Florentino Perez.

Writing in his book ‘Gunning for Greatness’, the playmaker said: “I called a number that I’d saved in my phone back in 2010.

“’Mr Wenger,’ I said, ‘I promised that you’d be the first person I’d contact if I were ever looking for another club. Now I am.’

“Arsene Wenger told me that he had been keeping an eye on me the whole time and that he liked how I’d developed. And all of a sudden I had that positive feeling again, the one I’d had during our telephone conversation back in 2010.

“I sensed that this man, who I’d never met personally, had a very high opinion of me and trusted me. Exactly what I needed at this difficult time.”

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Guardiola Hoping Kompany Stays Fit

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Vincent Kompany scored his first goal after a 20-month wait and Pep Guardiola hopes he remains fit till the end of the season.

The City captain opened the scoring with a 55th minute header in the 3-0 win over Southampton, as they climbed up to third.

Sane and Aguero scored the remaining two goals and Guardiola praised his skipper for the opener.

“Vincent is a central defender who doesn’t only win all the duels, but reads the game and passes well,” Guardiola told BT Sport.

“Last season Manuel [Pellegrini] was so upset he could not use him and this season is the same.

“Hopefully he can stay fit. I know how important he is to the fans, what he has done here and he has huge, huge quality.

“We didn’t concede absolutely anything. We created enough chances to score in the first half, but it didn’t happen.

“We scored from the set-piece. After that it wasn’t easy, but we could use the counter-attack and had space between the lines.

“The performance is so good considering where we are playing and that is why we are so, so happy.”

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