Riyad Mahrez Hands In Leicester Transfer Request Amid £50m Bid From Manchester City

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Riyad Mahrez has apparently handed in an official transfer request at Leicester amid an offer in excess of £50m for Manchester City.

The news comes on the same day City confirmed the signature of defender Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao for a club-record £57m fee.

Sky Sports News understands that while no formal, written offer has been lodged, City representatives have made it clear what they are prepared to pay, and Leicester have responded by stating they do not want to sell Mahrez, and a bid of around £50m is far too low.

Nevertheless, it is understood that Mahrez did not go to the Leicester City training ground on Friday and has not travelled with the rest of the squad to Merseyside ahead of their game against Everton.

According to various media reports, Leicester rate the Algerian Premier League winner much higher than the £50m that has been mentioned.

Speaking earlier this month, Foxes boss Claude Puel was asked if Mahrez could cost potential suitors £100m. He said: “Perhaps; maybe in the summer he will cost even more than £100m. (But) it’s just rumours, noise about him. We can see Riyad smile, enjoying his football, enjoying to play with his team-mates.”

Leicester threw out three bids for 26-year-old Mahrez from Roma last year with a £31.8m offer given short shrift by the Premier League side.

Mahrez is viewed as replacement for Leroy Sane, who damaged his ankle during the 2-0 win at Cardiff City in the FA Cup on Sunday.

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PDP Harvests 3,400 APC Members In Rivers

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At least 3,400 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have dumped the ruling party and joined the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State.

While receiving the defectors, the party’s Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr. Samuel Nwanosike, assured them of equal treatment and hailed them for being bold in their decision to leave the opposition party in Rivers.

He also told the decampees that the party was expecting a landslide victory in the governorship, senatorial and other elections in the state.

The party said its expectation was based on the performance of Governor Nyesom Wike, in the execution of projects across the 23 local government areas of the state.

He said: “Over 3,400 APC members from the 13 wards in the Ikwerre LGA, including non-indigenes, have defected to the PDP. The defectors left the APC because of failed promises, neglect and hardship inflicted on them by the APC-led administration in the country.

“The PDP will enjoy landslide victory in 2019; the PDP will win in all the wards and all the 23 local government areas in Rivers State, including the home of any candidate the APC will present. The people-oriented projects executed by the governor in all the local government areas are there for the people to see.

“The leadership of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has brought about hope for the poor people, development and peace. The PDP will not renege in ensuring that Rivers people enjoy meaningful projects and empowerment.

“This is because, when you rule a people for as much as two years without bringing a definite change to their lives, but telling them stories every day, a day will come when God will liberate them and that day is now.”


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Buhari Returns To Nigeria From Addis Ababa

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday returned to Abuja after a successful outing at the 30th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he was conferred as the anti-corruption Champion.

Obasanjo Meets Buhari In Addis Ababa Days After His ‘Letter Bomb’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the President’s aircraft landed at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi International Airport Abuja at about 2.20p.m.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, Inspector-General of Police Idris Ibrahim, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Musa Bello, Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Mr Ahmed Abubakar and other presidential aides were at the airport to welcome the President.

President Buhari had on January 27 started his four-day engagement in Addis Ababa when he joined 14 other members of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to discuss conflict and crisis situations across the continent.

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Lagos Assembly Approves Ambode’s N1.046trn Budget For 2018

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The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday passed the state’s 2018 budget of N1.046 trillion into law which was presented to it last December by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

The passage followed the adoption of the report and recommendations of the House Adhoc Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, headed by Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu.

During the passage of the appropriation bill, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, said N699 billion was appropriated for Capital Expenditure and N347 billion for Recurrent expenditure.

It was gathered that the Assembly endorsed the appropriation bill after Obasa conducted a voice vote on each of the sectoral allocations for Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.

Yishawu, while presenting the committee’s report, said that efforts should be made to reduce the total overhead cost of the state.

The lawmakers, who took turns to commend the nine-man ad hoc committee for a job well done, however, called for quick consideration of the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) scheme.

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Deji Tinubu: Tears, Tributes As Ambode’s Aide Is Buried In Lagos

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, his counterpart in Ogun, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and wife of Nigeria’s Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo on Tuesday led thousands of friends, family members, colleagues and well wishers‎ to pay last respect to late Deji Tinubu who passed on last Thursday.

At a well attended lying in state and funeral service held at the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Victoria Island, Lagos, tributes, eulogies and tears poured in freely for Tinubu, who until his demise was the Special Adviser to Governor Ambode on Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.

Deji Tinubu: Tributes Flood In As Ambode’s Aide Slumps, Dies During Football Game

Deji had slumped while playing a novelty football match with some members of the State Executive Council at the Jubilee Chalets in Epe on January 25, 2018.

In a special tribute in memory of Deji Tinubu published in the funeral service brochure and signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello described him as a great professional who devoted time to the service of humanity.

“He was an engineer, but he was also an engineer of sports. He was both sports man and sports lover. But he was unforgettable as a sports administrator. Those who followed him knew him as a symbol of service to humanity.

“We had seen him enliven us on television screens and through radio waves. He was an enthusiast and an analyst. He probed the game and predicted. He pointed out weaknesses and strengths. He saw flair, he saw style, he celebrated goals. He delighted in them and infected all who listened or watched him with his full vigour and vitality about living,” the Lagos State Government said.

Speaking at the service, Amosun described the late Deji as a man who had a deep passion for football and sports in general.

“The last time I saw Deji was when he came to identify with Segun Odegbami’s 10th anniversary of his sports academy‎. Little did I know that Deji will answer the final call on January 25 which happen to be my birthday. Deji was full of life and had a deep passion for football,” Amosun said.

He commiserated with Governor Ambode and the State Government, adding that Deji’s call to glory was ‎an act of God.

“‎God’s ways are not our ways, when it happens like this, we have to thank Him. With all what has been said about him clearly shows that we have to be thankful to God for his life in the 54 years he spent with us,”Amosun said.

Wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Yemi Osinbajo who prayed for the family of the deceased, urged them to take comfort in God, while praying that God will sustain his wife and chil‎dren.

In his sermon, Pastor in Charge of RCCG, City of David, Idowu Iluyomade said Deji was a quintessential gentleman and a pillar, who contributed in no small way in building the h‎ouse of God.

“I have known Deji for 22 years. He was a giver and a lover of football. To the family, I want you to take solace in the fact that everyone of us will die or be raptured. Today we celebrate Deji because we know he’s in a better place. Nobody took his life, he died at the appointed time,” he said.

Taking his sermon from Isaiah 43 verse 2,‎ Iluyomade urged the congregation to see Deji’s death as a reminder of the futility of life and the need to submit their lives to the almighty God.

Among other dignitaries present at the service include‎ President of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Peter Obi, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, Mr. Dele Momodu, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, members of the Lagos State Executive Council, Body of Permanent Secretaries, members of the Lagos State House of Assembly, sports aficionados, among others.

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Patience Jonathan Loses Court Case Against EFCC

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday dismissed an application of alleged breach of fundamental rights by former first lady, Patience Jonathan against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Mrs. Jonathan had asked the court to compel the EFCC to pay her N2 billion for the alleged abuse of her fundamental rights. In an application filed by her lawyers on June 30th, 2017, they claim that the former first lady’s rights were abused on account of the fact that accounts belonging to her had been frozen by the commission.

However, the anti-graft agency, in a counter-affidavit it filed on October 25, 2017, urged the court to dismiss the suit which it said constituted an abuse of the judicial process. The agency said it was investigating how “homongous deposits” were made into bank accounts that were operated by the former first lady and her Non Governmental Organisation, adding that the cash in-flows were from government establishments. EFCC told the court that it froze the affected accounts upon reasonable suspicion that the funds were proceeds of illicit transactions that involved high-scale money laundering.

In a judgement delivered by Justice John Tsoho, the court said there were three issues seeking determination regarding the matter:

“Whether the application is not an abuse of the court process; whether the applicants fundamental rights have been abused; and whether the applicant is entitled to seek redress against her fundamental rights,” he said.

The judge said the arguments by the commission that the case was under investigation had weakened the submissions of the applicants that the frozen accounts were a violation of her fundamental rights.

“It is obvious that the case of the applicant was weakened by the assertion that the investigation is ongoing,” he said.

“Having held that the applicant’s case is not made out, I further hold that the applicants is not entitled to any of the reliefs sort”

Justice Tsoho maintained that Mrs Jonathan failed to substantiate that her rights were violated in any way by the agenc and added that there was no “strong or irrefutable evidence” that it was the EFCC that raided the home of either Mrs. Jonathan or her relatives. “As of present, the respondent has stated that its investigation is still in process, hence the applicant’s position is uncertain”.
The former first lady told the court that unless it is restrained, the EFCC would continue to harass her, adding that the agency waged a psychological war on her by its incessant threats of arrest of her relations, such as Mrs. Esther Oba, Tamunotonye Oba and her elder brother, Mr. Aseminaso Nyengierefaka. The Applicant said she was being harassed and persecuted by EFCC because of her political views which she had expressed as a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, during the 2015 Presidential election campaign.

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Patience Jonathan Loses Court Case Against EFCC

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday dismissed an application of alleged breach of fundamental rights by former first lady, Patience Jonathan against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Mrs. Jonathan had asked the court to compel the EFCC to pay her N2 billion for the alleged abuse of her fundamental rights. In an application filed by her lawyers on June 30th, 2017, they claim that the former first lady’s rights were abused on account of the fact that accounts belonging to her had been frozen by the commission.

However, the anti-graft agency, in a counter-affidavit it filed on October 25, 2017, urged the court to dismiss the suit which it said constituted an abuse of the judicial process. The agency said it was investigating how “homongous deposits” were made into bank accounts that were operated by the former first lady and her Non Governmental Organisation, adding that the cash in-flows were from government establishments. EFCC told the court that it froze the affected accounts upon reasonable suspicion that the funds were proceeds of illicit transactions that involved high-scale money laundering.

In a judgement delivered by Justice John Tsoho, the court said there were three issues seeking determination regarding the matter:

“Whether the application is not an abuse of the court process; whether the applicants fundamental rights have been abused; and whether the applicant is entitled to seek redress against her fundamental rights,” he said.

The judge said the arguments by the commission that the case was under investigation had weakened the submissions of the applicants that the frozen accounts were a violation of her fundamental rights.

“It is obvious that the case of the applicant was weakened by the assertion that the investigation is ongoing,” he said.

“Having held that the applicant’s case is not made out, I further hold that the applicants is not entitled to any of the reliefs sort”

Justice Tsoho maintained that Mrs Jonathan failed to substantiate that her rights were violated in any way by the agenc and added that there was no “strong or irrefutable evidence” that it was the EFCC that raided the home of either Mrs. Jonathan or her relatives. “As of present, the respondent has stated that its investigation is still in process, hence the applicant’s position is uncertain”.
The former first lady told the court that unless it is restrained, the EFCC would continue to harass her, adding that the agency waged a psychological war on her by its incessant threats of arrest of her relations, such as Mrs. Esther Oba, Tamunotonye Oba and her elder brother, Mr. Aseminaso Nyengierefaka. The Applicant said she was being harassed and persecuted by EFCC because of her political views which she had expressed as a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, during the 2015 Presidential election campaign.

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Yemi Alade Celebrates 1 Million ‘Black Magic’ Album Streams On Spotify

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Yemi Alade’s album, “Black Magic” can be tagged one of the most successful body of music work in 2017 as the album has enjoyed over 1 million streams on Spotify.

Singer, Yemi Alade took to Instagram to celebrate the success of the 15 tracks album while appreciating her fans worldwide for the love.

The “Knack Am” crooner wrote on Instagram;

Thank you for 1MILLION STREAMS + ON #BLACKMAGIC ALBUM ON @spotify in just less than 1 month !!°°°°° #GoDown

#YemiNation #yemitrons #defendersOfTheUniverse una too much 🌶🌶🌶😚😚👑👑👑
Cc @effyzziemusicgroup


See her post below;

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#BBNaija 2018 Day 2: …And The First Kiss Of The Double Wahala Season Happens!

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#BBNaija 2018 with the theme double wahala seems its about to live up to its billing as the very first kiss of the season happened on day 2!

Miracle and Nina shared an intimate kiss in the Shower and this points to the fact that things are beginning to get spiced up in the #BBNaija house.

As it appears, Miracle is turning out to be quite the charmer in the big brother House, withthe ladies seemingly attracted to him. In what appeared to be an interesting turn of events on the morning of day 2, Miracle and Nina shared a rather intimate kiss in the Shower together.

This comes as quite a surprise because it appeared Miracle was quite attracted and enchanted by Ifu Ennada orginally and Nina has made it clear that she is very serious about her boyfriend outside the big brother House.

What we do not know at the moment is whether it is just a case of carnal attraction or if both Miracle and Nina are adopting the moves as a part of a strategy to stay ahead of the others in the house.

#BBnaija 2018 is gradually living up to its hype and turning out to be a melting pot full of flavour and entertainment. Though viewers don’t expect anything less with the numbers of smart, beautiful and intelligent people confined in a space, more sparks, fights and drama will come along in the days to come.

More so, there has been a number of budding connections that may become full-blown in the days to come, despite tgat its only day two of #BBNaija.

Bitto has already made a slight play for Princess by snuggling up to her in bed and Tobi had obviously made it clear that he has a thing for Cee-C which really irked Khloe.

All of these connections are expected to get further complicated in the days to come, especially since some of these housemates have serious relationships outside of the Big Brother House. With most of them repeatedly saying they are single, the question is are they truly single?

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360Recommends: Gbasky – Gradually

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Sequel to the 2017 Release of his debut EP titled “Phenomenal EP” which did an impressive +9000 listens on Boomplay Music – the most interactive and effective music platform in Nigeria, the songwriter, performing and recording artist Adepoju Adeyinka Oluwabusayo professionally known as “Gbasky”, begins 2018 on a high note with the release of a new single titled “Gradually” which did more than 200 pre-orders in less than a week on Boomplay Music. The single was co-produced by Sheed Kordys of The Sarz Academy with Guitar rift by Stringzys.

Gradually” is a slow tempo love song on which he glorifies and expresses his attraction towards his lady. No perfect time to release this song as the season of love is around the corner.

2018 promises to be a busy year for him as he intends to keep releasing singles and most probably a new EP.

Enjoy good music and follow him on Twitter via @Gbasky_ and Instagram via @gbasky_


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Album Review: Simisola – Simi

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Simisola, the second studio album from pop chanteuse, Simi, and first with her present X3M music management is a delightful, carefully processed record that serves as the perfect showcase for the singer’s impeccable vocals and impressive songwriting.

On stage, Simi may come across as awkward and painfully shy. She may constantly draw the ire of the fashion police with her left of field fashion choices, but in the studio as Simisola demonstrates, she is in charge and as close to a superwoman as one can expect.

Which is not to say that she isn’t human. There is plenty of that on offer. The opening salvo, Remind Me is a call for self-reflection that takes its source from the spiritual element. The piano chords come first, and then Simi’s syrupy sweet voice layers itself like water for chocolate. She laments the ways in which human beings seem to have forgotten how to love one another unconditionally and calls for a refocus of priorities.

This is immediately followed by the groovy highlife guitar strings of Joromi. Simi makes the subtlest of nods to Sir Victor Uwaifo before reclaiming the title as a subtle feminist manifesto. Joromi is the name of the slow coach of a guy whom Simi has mad love for and she isn’t afraid to shoot her shot. So Joro baby take my number/You know you can call me later/Me I want to be your lover/So baby call me later, she demands unabashedly in the chorus before closing with a melodious guitar riff. It is a breezy confection of a song that is matched decidedly by other gems on the record.

The first half of Simisola plays like a dream with each track delivering the aural goods. From Sir Uwaifo to Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey, Simi’s influences are rich and textured. Aimasiko is a highlife tune of submission to the will of good that latches on to your memory and never quite leaves till you have memorized every line and every drum lick.

Complete Me and Gone for Good are perfect showcases for Simi’s leisurely drawl. While the former can be grouped in the category of silly love songs, the latter is definitely another sad but triumphant love song. Both are terrific. Original Baby is a kiss off to the Internet dissenters who do not quite understand why Simi isn’t packaged as the perfect pop kitten. She recognizes her clumsiness and awkwardness and advocates being comfortable in one’s own skin.

The middle of the record sags a bit with the double bill of One Kain, a clumsy take on teenage infatuation and the supper sappy goo of Take Me Back, the mandatory duet with her romantic and creative partner, Adekunle Gold.

Things pick up again with the highlife swirl of O wa n’be in which Simi sends up Yoruba party culture and casts herself as the ultimate party animal. Angelina is Simi’s own Jolene, only reimagined as a light reggae lilt, but our girl isn’t as powerless as the narrator in Dolly Parton’s classic. Simi asserts herself and makes it quite clear she isn’t standing for any more of that nonsense.

The last act of the record consists of previously released gems, Smile for Me, Love Don’t Care and the underappreciated Tiff.

It isn’t every time that a pop record arrives that is accessible, enjoyable and exquisitely packaged as Simisola. The songwriting, mixing, production, vocals, everything adds up to a complete whole. Simi is clearly the real deal. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


Album Name: Simisola
Artist:  Simi
Year: 2017
Tracks: 12

Read other music reviews here

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Davido, Wizkid, & Don Jazzy Make List Of Most Followed Africans On Social Media (SEE FULL LIST)

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According to a report compiled by Lagos-based Sports Communication Company, CampsBay Media, Nigerian Celebrities, Don Jazzy, Davido and Wizkid are individuals with highest numbers of followers on social media.

The report which was tagged African Social Media Report seeks to measure social media influence of African Pop Stars. It has Senegalese-American star Akon on top of the chart while Wizkid and Davido also featured on the list of most followed Africans on on social media platforms such as; Facebook, Twiter and Instagram.

See Photos Below;

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Peter Okoye, Launches A New Clothing Line, ‘Classic P Collection’

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Peter Okoye, otherwise known as Mr. P of the defunct P-Square music group, has launched a new clothing line, ‘Classic P Collection’.

The singer announced the launch of the new fashion line on Instagram. The singer shared a video of himself rocking of his products with caption;

👕👚👖by MrP… Wait for it! #Clothing #ClassicPCollections Don’t mind the Bold MR P it is my own personal wear😊👍🏾The name of the Clothing line will be unveiled soon🙏🏽😊👍🏾 #ProudlyNaija

See his post below;

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More Winners Emerged in the Camon CM Guess Game 2, You Too Can Win A Camon CM

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So guys, there’s been a recent game going on, which is for the witty, the intelligent, and the social media lovers. If you are the type that would love to expand your horizons, or you are a lover of games, here is something interesting for you.

The activity which is called Camon CM Guess Game requires participants to guess what they think should happen next after watching a few clips from the game which is hosted on TECNO Mobile page. Since the game started on the 15th of January, 10 smart people have been rewarded with various gift items and 5 more people will smile home with gifts in the last series of the game this week.

Camon CM guess game 1

After thousands of responses were received in the second week of the game, 5 people who guessed correctly the Football Trivia were announced as Week 2 winners on TECNO Mobile Official Facebook page on Friday.

Camon CM Guess Game 2 winners

Interestingly, if you are yet to participate, the last series of the game is currently ongoing and 5 more people will win branded gift items while 2 lucky people will win the new Camon CM at the end of the activity.

Recently TECNO Mobile introduced the Camon into the market as the first full display smartphone that offers value for customer. The device which comes with the trending 18:9 aspect ratio transforms gaming and video watching into a full view immersive experience. The device is available in all retail outlets across Nigeria for just N47, 000.

How to participate in the TECNO Camon CM Guess Game

  • STEP 1 – Guess the next action by completing the story or telling us what happened next in the 3 incomplete actions (text, football and game) posted on our pages. This will run for 19 days.
  • STEP 2 – Post your answer as a comment under the pinned post on TECNO’s Facebook page with the hashtag #ExpandYourHorizons or on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and TECNOSpot with the same hashtag #ExpandYourHorizons. Tag and follow TECNOMobileNG on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter and TECNOSpot to make your entry valid.

How it will work:

  • Day 1 – Guess the next action of the story that will be posted on the page
  • Day 4 – Vote for the likely answer from the 3 options that will posted on the page
  • Day 5 – Watch out for the final answer

The first 10 participants that gets the correct answer across platforms (4 from Facebook, 2 from Instagram, 2 from Twitter and 2 from TECNO Spot) wins the gift items. The correct answer is the likely answer with the highest number of vote on each platform.

At the end of the campaign, 2 people that participated in the 3 series and answered the questions correctly will win the TECNO Camon CM. This will be by a lucky dip event that will be streamed live on our Facebook page 9th of February. The game will run from 15th January – 2nd February, 2018.

Visit TECNOSpot for terms and conditions.

For more information, follow TECNOMobileNigeria on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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Obasanjo And The Extent Of Presidential Powers – Reuben Abati

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Obasanjo And The Extent Of Presidential Powers – Reuben Abati

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More than a week after President Olusegun Obasanjo released his state of the nation commentary and devastating assessment of the Buhari administration, it has remained the main subject in the public arena in Nigeria. It is a measure of the stature, influence and capacity of the elder statesman that whenever he intervenes as he has done, he sets the tone for public debate and the country’s future political direction. I have already commented at length on the appropriateness, timeliness, depth, brutal honesty and shortcoming of that statement on both television and radio, more than twice, but there is an additional aspect that the statement further throws up; namely the nature and extent of presidential powers to wit: should Obasanjo blame Buhari?

This piece was written by Reuben Abati. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

It is common practice in Nigeria for political commentators, either on the streets or in formal situations, to make excuses for presidents, either serving or retired. You are likely to hear statements such as: “The president is a good man, it is just that he is surrounded by bad advisers and ministers”, or something like, “Buhari is not the problem, the problem is that he has been hijacked by a cabal”, or as the view was once expressed – “a cabal is now in charge!” The powers, style and limitations of the president are hardly ever placed in proper context. Proponents of the positivism of presidential powers always speak in terms of “Good President, bad aides” in the Nigerian presidential system, contrary to the norm that the buck stops at the president’s table.

President Obasanjo’s various assessments of sitting administrations adopt a different orientation. He holds the president personally responsible for the performance or non-performance of his government. In his recent statement on the Buhari administration, he thus characteristically accused President Buhari of nepotism, lack of understanding of the internal dynamics of Nigerian politics, blame-passing, condoning of misconduct, and outright incompetence. He, more or less, ascribes to the president of Nigeria the powers and the responsibility to provide leadership and ensure good governance. In his view, in areas where the president lacks capacity, it is his duty to recruit competent persons to assist him and where and when he fails, he is still the one to be held responsible.

The underlying principle in Obasanjo’s statement is that those to whom power is bequeathed must be accountable for the exercise of such power. In his only reference to advisers in his intervention, Obasanjo uses the word “so-called advisers.” It is most unfortunate that in the various responses from government and its agents to the Obasanjo statement, there has been no attempt to take on Obasanjo on the issues. He has been called names by hired voices, or system sycophants, and all he got from the minister of Information was an acknowledgement note and a patronising “Baba-is-a-patriot”, tepid climb-down, without a word of defence on the substantial question about how the incumbent president has abdicated responsibility and failed the leadership test.

For me, there are a number of projected questions: Can a president actually be held responsible for the failings of the government he heads? Should the blame for an administration’s failures be heaped on the head of a past government and its officials? Who can be held liable in the circumstance – a cabal, former ministers, or those exercising delegated authority? For whereas Obasanjo holds every president accountable, I have heard persons claim that he has no moral right to do so. It is even alleged that President Buhari cannot be questioned because he is answerable only to the people whose sovereignty he personifies.

President Obasanjo, by heaping the blame and the responsibility, on the head of President Muhammadu Buhari is drawing attention to the full extent of the ascribed and inherent powers of the president under the Constitution. The Nigerian Constitution, in letter and spirit, makes the Nigerian president an Emperor with near-absolute powers. There may be checks and balances on his powers here and there, in terms of his having recourse to the National Assembly on certain issues and having to make consultations, but in totality, the Constitution confers on him a kingly prerogative, especially on matters of policy and its execution. His powers are extensive and expansive. Under Section 5(1) of the Constitution, he is empowered to either exercise his powers directly or to delegate. His relationship with those to whom he delegates authority is akin to that between an agent and a disclosed principal.

Section 5(1) is instructive: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the executive powers of the Federation – (a) shall be vested in the President and may, subject as aforesaid and to the provisions of any law made by the National assembly, be exercised by him either directly or through the Vice-President or Ministers of the Government of the Federation or other officers in the public service of the Federation;” and

Section 148(1) adds:

“The President may, in his discretion, assign to Vice-President or any Minister of the government of the Federation responsibility for any business of the Government of the Federation, including the administration of any department of government.”

It stands to reason therefore that whatever is done by those agents, lawfully and within the bounds of presidential approval, are within the scope of the responsibility of the president. In other words, the president cannot pass the buck. So, is it right to say Buhari is a good man, but the problem is the cabal? Or to hold heads of MDAs liable for acts that were carried out with presidential authority and approval? The president is the custodian of the social contract with the people, as defined in Section 14, and where there is a failure of consideration in this regard, the government is deemed not only to have lost legitimacy, the president is deemed to have failed. This is a key point in Obasanjo’s statement, which makes it notably different from similar interventions by him in the past.

The term or the group known as “cabal” is unknown to the Nigerian Constitution but the Constitution knows the president. Section 148 also recognises that ministers are appointees of the president, exercising delegated authority. This is why the National Assembly cannot impeach ministers; they can only be sanctioned or relieved of their duties by their appointor, namely the president. Where the conduct of any government official is in question, it is important to establish whether or not such a person acted beyond the scope of the approval or directive given or whether or not such was ratified by the president. However, no public official is allowed, under the law, to carry out an unlawful directive; where such happens, such a person is personally liable. In practical terms, this has been a source of problem. Nigerian presidents function like Emperors. How many appointees can stand in front of a president and query his authority, or turn down his directive?

I align with the definition of responsibility in Obasanjo’s review of the exercise of presidential authority. For instance, there are cases in court against ministers and advisers who served under the Jonathan administration over matters such as the spending of security votes and sale of oil blocks, but to what extent can they be held responsible for obeying presidential directives? Today, in President Buhari’s Aso Villa, the chief of staff in particular has been accused within the public domain of many things. Does anyone really believe that a chief of staff can act on his own without presidential backing and not lose his job?

When the matter of MTN’s underpayment of the stipulated sum for its sanction came up and the penalty sum was allegedly reviewed downwards after some consideration, the MTN executive involved was sanctioned, and Nigerians asked that certain government officials should similarly be sanctioned, but till date, nothing has happened. Could that have been the case without the president’s knowledge? In the more recent controversial case of Abdulrasheed Maina, the attorney general of the federation, Abubakar Malami who was accused of protecting a man who had been sacked from service on the grounds of embezzlement, pilfering and corruption, had said that he acted with the knowledge and approval of the president.

Can he possibly in the future be called to account for his action, even when he was carrying out a presidential directive, apparent or otherwise? Afterall, his explanation was further confirmed from the statement of the head of service to the federation who said when the issue came up, she notified the president of the likely backlash. When the National Assembly summons a prominent government official and he or she refuses to honour the invitation, can it be assumed that any presidential appointee can be so dismissive of the legislature without presidential concurrence? When recently there was a face-off between the Department of State Security, the National Intelligence Agency and the EFCC, with the intelligence agencies insisting that they or their former bosses cannot be questioned by the EFCC, could they have gotten away with it without presidential approval? It is noteworthy that the intelligence agencies report directly to the president and take directives from him. They relate to other departments of government only on a need-to-know basis. There is also that other matter between Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and NNPC GMD, Kanti Baru, with the latter insisting that he had presidential approval. Can either party be arrested in the future for “alleged corruption” in the light of the revelation by the vice president, then acting as president, that he only gave “non-financial approvals?”

Our point therefore is that everything in our presidential democracy revolves around the president. Whereas the Constitution, upholding the separation of powers, vests the authority of the other two tiers of government: the legislature (Section 4) and the judiciary (Section 6) in institutions, the 1999 Constitution vests executive authority not in any institution, but the person of the president. The Presidency is not a collegiate; technically, even the vice president has no powers. He can only function to the extent of powers delegated to him by the president, and even the very limited powers assigned to him can only be exercised under presidential directive.

This is partly why when President Buhari went on a medical vacation and Vice President Osinbajo acted as President, there were persons who accused him of becoming ambitious and trying to seize presidential powers even when he had been granted delegated authority. The second time the president travelled, the Vice President was directed to act only as a co-ordinator! The president is granted immunity from prosecution; while in office, he is regarded as a Messiah, such that even the powers of the National Assembly to impeach him in the event of “gross misconduct” or “incapacitation” are difficult to execute.

More than at any other time, the Buhari administration has further problematised the extent of the powers of a president by calling to question virtually every act and directive under the preceding Jonathan administration. If a president gave a directive and it was lawfully carried out, without the agent going on a frolic of his own, and without any willful act of criminality, should such agents become the target of a witch-hunt? By stretching the matter in this direction, the Buhari administration may have created the basis for the growth of a political culture based on vendetta and the source of its own lack of vibrancy.

This probably explains why under this administration, delegated authority is being exercised with so much fear. The ministers and heads of parastatals and agencies are so scared because they imagine that even when they carry out directives, they may be held liable tomorrow by a different government. Already, they are being told that they are the problem and not the president. Why shouldn’t a future government arrest and detain them and tell them that the execution of a presidential directive is no protection? They may ultimately end up as victims of their current triumphalism.

By demonising former public officials, and undermining the powers of a past president to exercise power and authority through legitimate and lawful delegation, the Buhari administration may unwittingly make public service unattractive and set a disturbing precedent. Be sure, however that the Nigerian public in the future will still argue that “Baba is a good man, it was the cabal that caused his problems.” Good intentions alone do not guarantee good leadership: this is the underlying moral of the Obasanjo statement. Whether or not he can mount the high horse to say this is beyond the purview of this present commentary.

But here is the long-term challenge: Can a president who has been given so much powers under the Constitution be allowed to abdicate responsibility? Section 5(1) and Section 148, and other relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution on Presidential powers present grey areas that throw up jurisprudential questions that should be clarified and resolved. It is an issue on which Nigerians must make a value judgment: do we need to preserve the status quo or is there a need to review the extent of presidential powers? There are two ways forward: a constitutional amendment of presidential powers to make presidents more accountable, more institution-based and less omnipotent, or a resolution of the dilemma through the jurisprudence of our courts.

This piece was written by Reuben Abati. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

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Klopp Charges Liverpool To Show World Class Status

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Jurgen Klopp has challenged his men to regain their form, and show their world class status.

Liverpool is the only team to have beaten City this season, winning 4-3 at Anfield.

However, they have followed that win with a loss to Swansea and West Brom.

And ahead of Liverpool’s match against Huddersfield, Klopp has charged them to regain confidence.

“These boys, we know potential-wise are world class. But real world class is to bring it on the pitch again and again and again,” he told reporters.

“We need to find out whether it’s a misjudgement of the City game. I don’t think so. But if it was, that needs to be finished.

“I don’t think so. But if you want, since then our offensive positions didn’t defend as well as then, for example. That’s the truth.”



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Education: Nigeria To Declare State Of Emergency In April

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The federal government of Nigeria would declare a state of emergency in the education sector in April, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said on Monday, January 29, 2018.

Adamu made this disclosure when he received Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State and some members of his cabinet at the Federal Ministry of Education Headquarters in Abuja.

Nigerian Govt Blames Spread Of Lassa Fever On Doctors’ Carelessness

The minister also sought the support of all state governors to do the same in their respective states.

He said: “By the end of April, we are proposing that there will be a declaration of a state of emergency in the education sector all over the country.

“We request all the state governors to do the same in their states and we hope that once this is done our educational sector will improve.

“I will also meet with the governors to appeal to them to give special emphasis to addressing the problem of low standard of education especially at the primary school level.”

The minister further disclosed that the ministry was planning to present a proposal to the National Council of State for graduates of Education to henceforth be employed on Grade Level 10.

According to Adamu, the proposal would also include offering employment to students studying Education in tertiary institutions across the country.

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Naira Trades At 364/Dollar As CBN Injects $210m Into Foreign Exchange Market

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The Naira on Monday closed at 364/dollar at the parallel market, the same rate the United States Dollar traded against the local unit on Friday, January 26, 2018.

This is just as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday injected another $210m into various segments of the inter-bank foreign exchange market.

At Monday’s trading, the CBN offered the sum of $100m as wholesale interventions and allocated the sum of $55m to the Small and Medium Enterprises forex window.

Customers requiring forex for Business/Personal Travel Allowances, tuition and medical fees, among others, equally got an allocation of $55m.

Confirming the sales, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, reiterated that the bank would continue to sustain its interventions in the foreign exchange market.

He expressed optimism that the value of the naira would continue to spike in the face of accretion to the foreign reserves and the attendant reduction in the country’s import bill.

While also attributing the stability in the market to the bank’s transparency and cooperation of authorised dealers, he urged all dealers to continue to play by the rule, as the CBN would not hesitate to sanction any erring bank or dealer.

Friday’s sales were in favour of interests in the agricultural, airlines, petroleum products, raw materials and machinery sectors.

Meanwhile, the naira is expected to edge up this week due to tepid dollar demand.

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Paddy Adenuga: How Son Of Globacom Boss Nearly Acquired Chevron Netherlands At 29

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Paddy Adenuga, a young Nigerian and billionaire son of Dr Mike Adenuga, Globacom boss, has revealed how he tried to acquire one of the biggest oil companies in the world, Chevron Netherlands, at the age of 29, without the help of his family.

Paddy and his billionaire dad Dr Mike Adenuga

Paddy and his billionaire dad Dr Mike Adenuga

Read the story below:


It was October 2013, two years had passed since I had left the family business in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to London, England to start my own oil trading company. My time in the family business, as a director in the telecoms division and upstream oil & gas company was challenging to say the least but engaging and ultimately rewarding. However, I have never felt comfortable with sitting back and getting a golden pass through life. Whilst the easy thing to do was to be a “good boy and good son” and enjoy all the luxuries of being in a family business – I decided that striking it out on my own once again was the best course of action.

I’ve always loved the oil & gas business, like many other Nigerians. However, what I love about the business, particularly the exploration and production (upstream) side, was the mixture of strategy, operational capability, technical know-how, politics and business acumen which all had to be married with a gambling spirit and sheer luck to be successful. In my decision to move to London, I decided I would only be in the oil & gas business as long as it didn’t pose a direct conflict to the family’s interests. There is striking it out on your own and then there is just being plain foolish. Luckily for me, I had stopped being foolish by then.

The modus operandi of my oil trading business was simple. I kept an office in Lagos with a small team of five to run operations and logistics. I converted one of the bedrooms in my townhouse in London into a study. My team in Lagos under my guidance would get oil trading contracts and I, sitting in London, would either market these contracts to the global oil trading houses to execute in Nigeria on a joint venture (JV) basis or in some instances, I would find the capital to execute the contract from end to end. This formula proved effective and it was good enough to pay my bills and afford me an above modest lifestyle.

One of the traits I took from my parents is that I am highly ambitious and find it hard to sit still. There always has to be a new conquest, a new mountain to climb, or, as is the case most times, a new business to go after. Oil trading was my day job but was never exciting to me except for when I got paid. After days and weeks in London plotting my next move, I came up with an idea and a plan. In the world of upstream oil & gas, especially in Africa, companies that were operators, actively producing oil & gas in commercial quantities that wanted to invest or participate in the oil business were the darlings of the industry. They were like the prettiest girl in high school and every guy wanted her to come to the prom with him.

Most of the oil producing nations in sub-Saharan Africa such as Nigeria, Angola, and Equatorial Guinea would always require any investor into oil & gas assets in their country to either be an oil & gas operator with production on stream or be partnered with an operator, deemed a “technical partner”. This logic makes sense. If you are going to buy prized national assets, you should have the know how to develop and operate them or at least be partnered with an entity that does. I decided that I was going to use a Trojan Horse strategy. I had read ancient Greek literature when I’d attended military academy in Texas and it served as inspiration. I would acquire an oil & gas operating company in Europe (the Trojan Horse), where the political barriers and costs to entry in comparison to Africa would be significantly lower. I would then use this newly acquired company, which would now be of Afro-European in heritage, to become a technical partner to many local and international investors in the upstream oil & gas business in Africa. This company would be the first of its kind and likely the most sought-after oil & gas company on the African continent because of its unique DNA and ownership. After thinking of this idea, I took myself out to a bar a few blocks from my house and ordered myself a nice strong drink. I felt like a genius.

I registered a new upstream oil & gas investment company offshore and called it, The Catalan Corporation. The name didn’t really have a meaning, it just sounded nice and had a confident, stately demeanour to it. To keep costs at a minimum, I decided to put together an advisory board that consisted of Vance Querio, the COO of Addax Petroleum at the time and an industry professional and my mentor (who will remain nameless for good reason), one of Africa’s biggest business giants. Vance was all too happy to join and signed on quickly. I called my mentor and before signing on, he wanted a face to face meeting for me to explain my plan and ambitions for Catalan. He asked me to meet him in the early spring of 2014 at a health spa in a small Swiss village outside of Zurich. I have to admit the drive from Zurich to this little village tucked within the Swiss mountains still remains one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. The spring sun had begun to melt the snow on the mountains and in the distance; you could see the melting snow turn into giant waterfalls pouring off the mountains. It was like an oil painting come to life.

I eventually met with my mentor and after explaining my idea to him and that him being on my advisory board would not only give my burgeoning company credibility but help us raise cash, he agreed in totality and went further to tell me that I should tell anyone and everyone that he was not only on board but was going to give our company his full support. We drank some tea together and the next morning I was off back to London. My little plan for Africa oil & gas was coming together, finally put into action by two African men in a Swiss village. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

On the plane flying back to London from Zurich, even though I had just gotten my mentor on board, I felt that there was someone missing. A few years prior I was the spearhead of my family’s acquisition drive for OML 30 (this is another whole story in itself), one of Shell Nigeria’s most lucrative oil blocks that was up for sale, I met a brilliant English banker named Edgar. Edgar had more than 30 years of oil & gas operations and finance experience. He was respected by the industry on a global basis and having him on board would be the final piece in the puzzle, the icing on the cake. I called Edgar immediately I landed and asked if we could meet for lunch, my treat as always.

I pitched Catalan to Edgar and how if we pulled this off it would be the grandest of coups. Edgar was highly intrigued but stated that he wanted hard cash upfront from the onset. Whilst the others were all too eager to come on board and make their money via sweat equity or cash incentives when we had a target company in our sights, Edgar wanted to be paid money and a substantial amount before putting pen to paper. I was confused by his behaviour. I told him who the others were that were on Catalan’s advisory board but he wasn’t having it, either he would be paid his princely sum to attach his name to Catalan or no deal. I was 29 at the time and was still head-strong and prideful. How could this guy develop such an attitude? I thought we were friends. I suppose Edgar knew his value and wasn’t going to mortgage it on a promise of monies at a later date. As much as he liked my Trojan Horse idea, he just happened to like money more. I balked at his request in annoyance. I paid for lunch, told him no way, and stormed off home. This was a big mistake on my part that would rear its ugly head later.

I appointed two of my most trusted confidants as directors in Catalan and with that the company was set to go. I designed the logo for Catalan – a coat of arms with a cross in the middle. I am after all a devout Catholic and a strong believer in God, so why not have my faith represented on my company logo? I then called my friend Nicolas Lavrov, a web and graphics designer and over the course of a week we put together a sleek and polished company profile which me, my directors and advisory board began emailing out to interested parties. A few weeks later, I got an email from Richard Kent of Jeffries. Jeffries are an investment bank that work closely with multi-national oil companies (the majors) on the acquisition or divestment of oil & gas assets on a worldwide basis. Richard had gotten a copy of my company profile and wanted to have a meeting. I wore one of my finest suits and hopped into a taxi to his offices in London City.

Richard and I talked extensively about my background and my ambitions for Catalan. I explained to him the type of company we were looking to acquire, ideally an oil & gas company in Europe, preferably operating out of the North Sea with a strong daily production and enough reserves to warrant further investment in development. I also told Richard how much we would be ready to spend for the first acquisition – between USD 50 million and USD 100 million. We would finance our acquisition via reserve based lending and would likely raise cash equity of thirty percent of our purchase price with a Bank raising debt of seventy percent to help the balance of the purchase price. I had described the “goldilocks” company Catalan needed to acquire. With that said, Richard told me to give him some time to find the best deal for Catalan.

A few weeks later Richard called me, “I have the perfect deal for you Paddy!” US oil giant, Chevron, had decided to sell their entire upstream, exploration and production business in the Netherlands and had appointed Jeffries to manage a bid process for the sale of Chevron Netherlands. The sale included their production platforms in the North Sea off the Dutch coast, their office buildings, around a thousand or so native Dutch staff, and their crude and gas pipeline evacuation infrastructure. Even the Chevron coffee and tea mugs were part of the sale. Richard was right, this deal was perfect and the ideal Trojan Horse with which to enter the Africa oil & gas terrain with from Europe. He informed me that this would be a competitive bid against other companies to acquire Chevron but thought that Catalan and I stood a good chance. I told him I was interested and that he should send all the necessary paperwork over. Something within me believed I was going to win this bid and with that in mind I was going to throw everything at it. If I won this bid, I thought, there would be stories written about me for a long time to come.

Chevron are by nature, prudently selective with which companies they invite to bid. So the fact that Catalan was chosen was a big deal to me. I felt like for once in my 29 years, I wasn’t being judged solely by my last name but for my skill, merits and ability. I got the first bits of information from Chevron on their Netherlands assets and I began putting together a team of hired hands to act as my management team for Catalan’s bid. I appointed Dutch law firm DeBrauw as my lawyers, Canadian firm Canaccord Genuity as my finance managers, RPS Energy as my technical managers, and Moore Stephens as my accountants. I informed Chevron of my management team and they asked for a few weeks to open the data room and kick off the bid.

Whilst Catalan and its hired management team waited on Chevron, I decided to be pro-active. From previous my experience with OML 30, not engaging government regulators enough could prove to be unwise. I decided that I needed to meet with the government body in the Netherlands responsible for managing their oil & gas affairs. After all I was a young Nigerian man, trying to buy prized, national Dutch assets. I, more than anyone, needed to be ten steps ahead at any given time. My lawyers put me in touch with Jan-Dirk Bokhoven, the managing director at the time of the Dutch state-owned oil company, EBN. Jan-Dirk and I spoke on the phone and agreed a date to meet at EBN’s head office in Utrecht, a one-hour drive or so outside of Amsterdam.

I had never been to the Netherlands before. I took the first flight from London to Amsterdam and arrived a little after 7am. The hotel sent a car to pick me and on my ride into Amsterdam the most fascinating thing I saw was that the Dutch rode bicycles everywhere. When parents take their kids to school, they pop them onto the back of a bike and ride on. I had never seen an entire city on bicycles. It was like something out of the twilight zone. A few hours later I changed and drove to Utrecht on a warm and sunny morning. The ride to Utrecht was stunning. The skies were a picturesque baby blue and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. On either side of the motorway there were golden fields of farm land and further beyond, wind turbines spun in synchronicity. The view was so special to me that I asked the driver to stop on the side of the motorway so that I could get out and appreciate the scenery for fifteen minutes or so. The driver thought I was odd.

I finally met Jan-Dirk at his offices with his head of operations, Thijs. I could see in both their faces, looks of confusion and reverence at the same time. How could a 29-year-old Nigerian have found himself in a position to buy Chevron’s business in the Netherlands? I told Jan-Dirk and Thijs of my intentions and that I took this bid seriously and wanted to make sure that I did everything right in the eyes of not only Chevron but the Dutch government. They both assured me that I was on the right track and that if there was any issue, they would let me know. I spent a few more days in Amsterdam, met up with a few friends, and enjoyed the Dutch nightlife and hospitality. I flew back to London.

Chevron finally opened the data room for the bid and provided all information needed for all companies to put in a bid. I put my team, my directors, and Vance Querio on the task of reviewing all the documents with a request that we have a bid review meeting in a few weeks. Tarica Mpinga of Canaccord Genuity served as the lead of the management team. Tarica called me that the team was ready to present their findings and proposal on the way forward. I went over to Canaccord’s offices and for once saw my team assembled in front of me. Here I was, in my late twenties, in a massive boardroom, with a management team of fifteen people presenting to me. I felt like I had arrived.

While acquiring Chevron Netherlands was mostly for an Africa oil & gas play, Catalan had to deal with the reality of the company’s books, resources, and liabilities. Chevron Netherlands by production was attractive, producing 9000 boepd broken down into 8000 barrels of gas per day and 1000 barrels of crude. The off-shore production facilities were top class, the gas reserves were attractive with ample room for development to increase production numbers, the management team of Chevron Netherlands were the best the industry could employ, and the crude and gas evacuation infrastructure and sales contracts were solid. The Catalan management team presented me the bad news. The oil reserves were seen as weak and having very little production life even if new wells were drilled. The biggest problem however was the abandonment liability which had been projected at first glance to be in the USD 300 million region. This became the thorn in the flesh of entire bid process. Essentially the Dutch government required all operators to restore their areas of operation back to how nature intended – which meant all infrastructure had to be removed at the end of production. The cost of this is what is termed “abandonment liability” or “abandex”. Catalan’s management team felt that because the abandex was so high, it negated an aggressive bid price and moreover Catalan would struggle to raise cash to pay for Chevron Netherlands.

Unperturbed, I corralled my management team on a road show. We would meet with as many Banks, investors, and oil trading companies as possible to pitch Catalan’s bid and Africa strategy for Chevron Netherlands. The team and I spent countless hours in meeting after meeting but to no avail. The abandex amount and weak oil reserves of Chevron Netherlands were too significant that it blinded people from the Africa strategy entirely. Alas it was clear that this would have to be a cash deal with no bank debt or oil trading dollars. Despondent, I called my mentor for a way forward. We spoke extensively and as I expected, he was the only one that saw how important Chevron Netherlands would be as a technical partner-operator in Africa. We agreed that between myself as a small cash contributor, himself, and a few other investors we could raise cash of USD 50 million as a maximum bid price. That night I went back to that bar not far from my house and ordered an even stronger drink. This bid could not slip away from me.

Chevron sent an email to Catalan advising when they expected bids to be received. The Catalan team once again huddled in Canaccord’s offices to work on a bid submission document, which would include Catalan’s offer and bid price. We deliberated for hours and the management team insisted that because of the high abandex amount that no cash should be offered. Essentially Catalan would agree to absorb the entire abandex amount and would pay a notional “$1” for the company. This would be a liability absorbing deal, allowing Chevron to clean out and move on. The team advised that Catalan put in this offer but as a way to play hard to get, we would commit to the gas abandex but stay quiet on the oil abandex. I was convinced at that moment that we would have the winning bid. The team prepared all the necessary paperwork, which I signed, and hand delivered to Jeffries offices to the manager of the bid process. After submitting the bid documents, I went to my church, St. Mary’s. I always like going to church when there is absolutely no one there. I prayed for God’s blessings and good graces.

Jeffries and Chevron confirmed they had received Catalan’s bid and would need two weeks or so to review all bids and come back with an answer. In the meantime, I gave a break to my management team and spent all my free time now on my kung fu training with my master, Shifu Heng-Wei. Kung Fu was not only for my fitness but for my well-being and spiritual balance. It was my greatest stress-relief. On a Tuesday afternoon, whilst Shifu and I were in the middle of an intense kung fu session, my phone rang. I knew it was about Chevron. One of Richard Kent’s deputies was on the line. Chevron had reviewed my bid and were “confused” on my position in respect to the oil abandex and wanted a re-submission clarifying Catalan’s position on both oil and gas abandex. I immediately re-convened my management team at the boardroom and began debating our response to Chevron. I saw this as a second chance opportunity from Chevron to submit a more aggressive bid. My management team argued that I should keep the same bid and state now clearly that Catalan wanted nothing to do with the oil abandex. I countered that we needed to be aggressive and should take the entire abandex and offer cash of USD 50 million so that we could acquire Chevron Netherlands uncontested and plough quickly to our Africa strategy.

The Catalan management team thought I was crazy. Surely, I was 29 and now undeniably stupid. How could I look at that enormity of an abandex amount and now want to offer hard-earned cash on top of that? They believed I was frequenting my local bar too often and having one too many drinks. They pleaded with me that I follow their proposal. We argued further and eventually as a compromise, we agreed that we would take all of Chevron Netherlands oil & gas abandex but would still offer a notional $1 bid price. In my heart of hearts, I felt that a cash offer was needed to win but my management team, for which I had paid a respectable amount for their services, had convinced me otherwise. They were professionals I thought and they had my best interest at heart. The team printed out the documents for which I appended my signature and re-submitted. Again, I went to my church, when there wasn’t a soul in sight and prayed to God for his guidance and blessings.

Chevron confirmed that they had received Catalan’s revised bid document and would need another 2 weeks to come back to me on whether we won the bid or not. One night as I stayed up watching CNN at home, I had another idea. If I was able to find out whom the other bidders were for Chevron Netherlands, I could coerce these bidders to drop their respective bids and join me in a new multi-bidder venture. With this, Chevron would have no choice but to sell Chevron Netherlands to Catalan and the other bidders in a new joint venture (JV) company. This was to be my insurance policy in case Catalan’s solo bid failed. As I said, I am the underdog here by a country mile; I always had to be ten steps ahead of everybody else. I arranged a conference call with my management team and charged them to find out who the other bidders were for Chevron Netherlands. I also pulled out my diary and began making phone calls. At this point I didn’t care what the rules were, this was business – either hunt or be hunted and I believed Catalan led by me, was an apex predator, even if Chevron was one trillion times bigger than Catalan. Fortune favours the bold and I fancied this as David versus Goliath.

One by one, Catalan began finding out who the other bidders were. Mercuria, an oil trading company I had done business were in the running but then pulled out. Dana Petroleum looked at the assets but were also out of the running. Tullow Oil was also out of the bid out of the fear of the abandex costs. I scheduled another call with my team and asked everyone to re-double their efforts to find active bidders. The clock was ticking and I was keen to find the other bidders before Chevron replied to my bid. I was too late however, on a Friday afternoon in early summer of 2014, whilst I was out drinking rose wine with friends at the Arts Club in London, I got an email from Chevron. They had rejected Catalan’s bid and had deemed our bid unsuccessful. I felt like sinking into the ground. I hastily said goodbye to my worried friends and ran home. I couldn’t believe it. How could Chevron say no to me? This bid was destined for me to win. I was meant to be the Alexander the Great of Africa oil & gas and barely into my thirties.

All weekend, I re-traced my steps. I called my management team, my directors, my advisory board, and my mentor to understand where we went wrong. Vance Querio told me that it looked like I had fallen in love with Chevron Netherlands and it was time to walk away. I said no way, I was too deep in love and I couldn’t turn back now. I made up my mind that I was going to find the remaining active bidders, coax them into joining me, and leave Chevron with no choice. I called my management team for a meeting on Monday and they were soundly reassured that I was mad. The game was up and here I was, trying to bring back life to Catalan after a deathblow. The show was not over and we were going to be victorious. I left the meeting with a sense of purpose. That night I went on a dinner date and bumped into an older friend of mine, Remi. I had always looked up to Remi. Remi is smart, successful, and highly intelligent. I felt like him and I were very much the same person and that he was me, just twenty or so years down the road. Remi asked me what I was up to with work and why I wasn’t in Lagos running the family business. I coyly changed topics as I didn’t want any Nigerians knowing what I was up to, certainly no one in “high society” or the political elite. Even though Remi was a great guy, I couldn’t take the risk. Chevron Netherlands was my Trojan Horse and it was on a strictly need to know basis. We will get back to Remi later.

The next day I called Jan-Dirk of EBN and told him that I was going to make a USD 50 million re-bid for Chevron Netherlands but this time I wanted to do so with the other bidders as part of a JV. I was going to use all the cash I had agreed with my mentor to go for one final strike. Jan-Dirk at first was unsure that this was possible but when he heard my sense of urgency and willingness to put down cash, he invited me to back to his offices in Utrecht and felt there could be a solution. The next morning, I dashed off to the airport and flew back to Amsterdam. I landed early as I usually do and by this time I had gotten used to the city being on bicycles. I remember pulling up to a red light and seeing twin Dutch toddlers on the back of their mother’s bike waving at me. These Dutch and their bicycles.

I met with Jan-Dirk again and this time he was more forthright and eager to help out. He then dropped a few bombshells on me. First off, EBN, the Dutch state oil company, were an active bidder for Chevron Netherlands and were specifically interested in the oil side. I was shocked. The second bombshell was that they had put in a joint bid with an indigenous Dutch oil & gas producer called Oranje-Nassau Energy (ONE). Thirdly, EBN knew that apart from itself, Catalan and ONE, there was one more active bidder that wasn’t European or African for that matter but had no leads. Jan-Dirk pledged that EBN would join my new JV but that I had to meet the Chairman of ONE, Marcel, to get his buy in. In my presence, Jan-Dirk called Marcel and arranged a lunch meeting in London with Marcel and the managing director of ONE, Alex.

Back in London, I met with Marcel and Alex at a prestigious members club that both Marcel and I were members of. Marcel and I hit it off very well and found that we had a lot of mutual interests in common, more so he knew my mentor and on the strength of that would be happy to enter into a JV with Catalan and EBN. However, Alex, was slightly reticent. Alex, it seemed wasn’t too pleased that I was charming his Chairman right before him and wanted to put the brakes on this budding bromance. If he wasn’t careful this young Nigerian could even end up taking his job if this JV worked out. It then became a battle for control now between Alex and I on the fate of the JV. Alex proposed that the Catalan management team meet EBN and ONE at ONE’s offices in Amsterdam the following week to discuss the structure of this new JV and how we would formally propose to Chevron that we wanted to bid together for Chevron Netherlands. I agreed to this meeting. I would come with full force.

The following week, the Catalan team and I arrived in Amsterdam. I ensured that we arrived in style. I had the hotel arrange for five, brand new, jet-black Mercedes s-classes to ferry the Catalan management team to ONE’s offices. I wanted Marcel and Alex to know that we meant business and this wasn’t a Mickey Mouse affair. Marcel and Alex received us at the entrance of their offices. We certainly made an impression, it looked more like a state delegation had just arrived at ONE’s offices, ready to discuss oil & gas diplomacy.

We were taken up to their main conference room where we were introduced to the rest of ONE’s management team. Our meeting was to discuss two major points. First, if the JV was to be successful, how would we carve out the Chevron Netherlands empire? Secondly, if we were to agree to the first point, how would we approach Chevron and manage the bid process? The meeting became slightly contentious. EBN did not attend the meeting and didn’t need to. They made it clear that they were focused on the oil side of Chevron Netherlands and would only come in for the oil. ONE was also no small fry, they produced 60,000 barrels of crude and gas a day from their assets in the Netherlands and worldwide. They were not only keen on the gas coming from Chevron Netherlands but wanted operational control. This would leave Catalan as a mere financier/investor with no management control.

Tensions were flaring with no headway being made. I looked at Marcel and knew that he and I were both frustrated. I motioned to him for us to meet outside the conference room. Marcel waved to Alex to join us and I asked Tarica to step outside with me. The four of us walked over to Alex’s office for a man-to-man resolution meeting. I made it clear to Marcel and Alex that Catalan’s main objective was to use Chevron Netherlands as an Africa operator and would make our fortune from “selling” our technical know-how to wealthy, local investors in oil-rich producing nations with Angola and Equatorial Guinea as prime targets followed by Nigeria. However, Catalan would need to have management control of Chevron Netherlands as we know potential African partners would want to see the Afro side of an Afro-European oil company in control. Marcel agreed and Tarica re-emphasised my point. Alex however was keen for ONE to be an active player on the gas side as they saw the gas production and potential as the key driver for being involved in the first place. We agreed that Catalan would have management control but would let ONE drive the gas affairs in the JV with EBN doing the same for the oil. The empire had been carved. Lastly, we agreed that we would write a joint letter to Chevron notifying them of our intent to form a JV and permission to submit a joint bid for Chevron Netherlands. The four of us walked back into the main meeting and marshalled out the next steps to our respective teams. Marcel saw me off and we both felt like we were on the verge of something great. I spent a few more days in Amsterdam and revelled in the Dutch nightlife. I even bought a bicycle. On one fine Amsterdam afternoon as I rode my bike through town, I thought to myself, “I am about to be a Nigerian Dutchman”.

When I arrived off the plane from Amsterdam to London, I got a rather unnerving email from Alex of ONE. He was back to that power-playing game of his again which was becoming highly frustrating. Alex had written me stating that before EBN and ONE would agree to write a JV letter to Chevron they needed to see financial statements from Catalan, a substantial amount of money had to be put in an escrow account, and he listed another laundry list of conditions precedent (CP). I was surprised he didn’t ask for my birth certificate and my mother’s driving license. I thought to myself “Na wa o, this Alex bobo really has it out for me.” Alex had done this largely to checkmate me and show that he was the authority on the JV. It was all well and good for his billionaire Chairman, Marcel to say he was okay with it, but it was Alex that was responsible for managing the JV and not some young upstart. On the taxi ride back home, I thought to myself, it would take too long for Catalan to meet all of Alex’s CP’s and in that time Chevron could have announced a winner as I was well aware that there was another bidder still out there that we didn’t know of. Also, Alex was effectively making Catalan bid for ONE’s partnership. He would make Catalan sweat to earn partnership rights with ONE and EBN and then we would sweat further to convince Chevron of our JV. I decided this was a dangerous road to go down and I would not cave into Alex’s demands. If there was anything I excelled at in military academy two decades before, it was in military strategy and tactics. I was going to put all my training and knowledge to teach this Alex fellow a lesson. ONE and EBN were going to sign that letter I told myself. They simply had no choice.

I devised a plan, which I fine-tuned with the other two directors of Catalan. I made sure not to discuss the plan with Catalan’s management team for fear that it could leak out. The Catalan directors agreed that for our plan to be successful, I in particular would have to eat humble pie. I had to reach out to Edgar and I’d also have to pay that princely sum of his. In addition to Edgar, I needed to get French banker, Guillaume Leenhardt on board. Guillaume, I had known since I was 13 years old and I’d come to find out that he was a close friend of Marcel. I met with Edgar for a steak dinner. I swallowed my pride and apologised profusely for our last meeting that didn’t go so well. I told Edgar that I wanted him on my team now on a full-time basis. Edgar knew he was needed now more than ever and cheekily asked for twice the amount he had originally requested for. This was no longer a princely sum but a king’s ransom. I did the math. It was worth it. I called my Bankers and made sure Edgar was paid. That was the first chess move. I called Guillaume and he just happened to be in London. He asked me to meet him in Hyde Park by the serpentine lake. I arrived at the lake and saw Guillaume sitting on a bench, feeding bread to ducks. It was like something out of a spy movie. I briefed Guillaume on the whole Chevron Netherlands saga and he was impressed to say the least, “You’re as ambitious and as crazy as your father… I like it!” With that said Guillaume was on board. More chess moves. My plan for Alex was now set in motion, it was a mixture of “good cop-bad cop” and what Yoruba’s from Nigeria call “Ogbon agba”, loosely translated to “An old man’s wisdom”.

I emailed Alex, copying Marcel and key members of ONE, EBN, and Catalan’s management team. I wrote that Catalan was no longer interested in partnering with ONE and EBN. I reminded them that Catalan was invited to bid by Chevron and Jeffries because of our cash raising ability. Alex’s list of CP’s was a slap in the face to Catalan and had personally offended me and my mentor. In the same email, I instructed the Catalan management team to cease all communication with ONE and EBN. The email was a tsunami. ONE and EBN couldn’t believe that they had just been dumped. Imagine telling the prettiest girl in school that you were planning to take her to the prom, she thought she had you wrapped around her finger, and then in one ninja move, you tell her you are no longer interested. This dejection is what Alex and co. were now feeling. How could ONE and EBN be told to bog off and most of all by this small boy? It put them in a state of cataclysmic shock. Bad cop. I then called Edgar and Guillaume that I had to write such a nuclear bomb of an email because my mentor and investors were unhappy that ONE was trying to shift the goal post. I asked Edgar to reach out to Alex and the ONE management team since he knew them well to speak some sense to them, stating that I wanted to partner with them but that my mentor and investors were the ones holding me back, that they were about to lose out on a fruitful partnership. I then reached out to Guillaume to do the same with Marcel. Good cop. More chess moves. A week went by. The Catalan team, still bewildered, called me to reverse the decision in my email, pleading with me that my stance was suicidal. I refused to budge. Edgar was making progress with Alex. Alex began to feel that this whole mess was now his fault and didn’t want to look bad in front of his organisation and EBN. He caved in and with his contrition, EBN were on board. It was now left for Marcel to give the final green light. Marcel was enjoying a cruise on the Greek seas on his lovely yacht and was a little hard to reach. Guillaume finally reached him. Marcel agreed. Checkmate. Ogbon agba!

I drafted the JV letter to send to Chevron. The reward for my victory. I emailed it out to ONE and EBN. One hour later the letter was sent back to me with their signatures. I signed the letter and then forwarded it via email to Chevron and Jeffries with the Catalan management team in copy. Tarica called me and wondered how I’d pulled off such a coup. I told him they don’t teach such at Harvard Business School, that this was native Nigerian business sense. We both laughed. Chevron on the other hand wasn’t laughing. In the words of Jeffries, “Catalan was taking over the bid process”. Chevron now knew that it wouldn’t be too long before the last bidder was found and coerced into the Catalan-led JV. Chevron is one of the wealthiest companies in the world and also one of the smartest. They made a few chess moves of their own. They decided to stall and told the JV through Jeffries that they needed some time to consider our proposal. They would cleverly use this time to tidy up the bid with the last, final bidder. A week passed by and I knew this was a race against time between Catalan and Chevron. If Catalan found this last bidder the game was up and Chevron would have to cede Chevron Netherlands to the Catalan-led JV. Chevron for their own part, needed to wrap things up with the last bidder because if not, they would have been outfoxed by Catalan and might end up having to sell Chevron Netherlands for a much smaller sale price. Worst still, there was no way they would lose their Dutch empire to me of all people.

I called both Edgar and Guillaume, asking them to use all their contacts and resources to find the last bidder. I arranged a conference call between Catalan, ONE, and EBN with a clear order to find the last bidder and that once we found them, the bid was ours for the taking. During my time in the family business, as a director in the upstream oil & gas business, I had a close working relationship with Chevron Nigeria and knew its managing director. I dug deep into my email and found emails years back between Chevron’s senior management based in Houston and I. I reached out to the Chevron Houston team and went into full salesmanship. The Catalan-led JV was well suited to buy Chevron Netherlands. We were a mix of cash (Catalan), operational experience (ONE), and government-state backing (EBN). There was no better group to sell to. Chevron Houston asked for time to consider. Guillaume had come up with no leads but Edgar had, the kings ransom I paid for his services was showing dividend. Edgar had gotten in touch with Martin Lovegrove, a senior adviser to the global CEO of Chevron. Martin informed Edgar, that the Chevron global deal team sitting at headquarters in California – Chevron San Ramon, were debating what to do. It was becoming an internal debate between Chevron Houston and Chevron San Ramon on whether to conclude with the last bidder or pivot to the Catalan-led JV. I waited on the outcome. My 30th birthday was on June 21, 2014. I had planned a big comic book inspired costume party to ring in my special day but I cancelled all those plans. I felt Chevron Netherlands was slipping away from me and this was not the time to celebrate anything.

On July 14, 2014, I received a letter from Chevron. They had made up their mind. Chevron San Ramon had their way. There was to be no room for the Catalan-led JV and they were concluding the sale of Chevron Netherlands imminently. To say I was devastated wouldn’t capture how low and defeated I felt. Chevron Netherlands was destined to be mine. I was going to ride back into Africa on my Trojan Horse and become King. I had given every part of me, every fibre of my being and it was immeasurably painful to come so close to victory and lose. ONE and EBN wrote to Catalan formally withdrawing their participation in Chevron Netherlands. They had sailed off into the North Sea sunset. I stubbornly refused to give up and wrote another letter to Chevron that Catalan would be prepared to pay up to USD 100 million for Chevron Netherlands. Frankly, I didn’t know where I was going to find the money but I was throwing one last shot out there when in actuality it was no more than medicine after death. A few days after my last pitch letter, Richard Kent sent me an email; Chevron Netherlands had been sold to Petrogas of Oman. The last bidder, the mystery company I couldn’t find. I’d later come to find out that USD 50 million plus an absorption of all the abandex was the winning formula for the bid – the same formula that I had proposed to my management team but they had pushed back on. This was a painful lesson to always trust my instincts, no matter the circumstance. Edgar later told me that if I had brought him on from day one, the first question he would have asked me was, “What amount are you willing to pay for Chevron Netherlands, given what you wanted to use it for in Africa?” I told Edgar that the price I would have paid was USD 50 million. I should have paid Edgar his princely sum the first-time round, never again would I let ego or pride cloud my judgement.

Members of the Chevron team in London called me. They congratulated me on a well-fought bid and marvelled at my ability to push them so hard in their own bid process. Richard Kent of Jeffries took me out for a drink. He told me I was the type of bidder he liked working with, tenacious and aggressive. Richard wanted to know if I was interested in another bid, something was coming up in Italy. I told Richard I was done. I looked finished. I said goodbye to the Catalan team and paid their fees. Tarica took me out for a meal, trying to encourage me. We joked about how legendary this bid was and how I had brought back Catalan’s quest to life on multiple occasions when all seemed lost. This was all consolation. I thought, no one remembers the 1st runner up, second place is just not first place. My mentor called me and told not me not to be hard on myself, that this was all a learning process and that it would shape me for further battles in the future. I agreed with him but nothing could make up for my loss.

Whilst I lay in bed that night, one of my closest confidants nicknamed Heisenberg and a director in Catalan called me. I remember our conversation like it was yesterday. Heisenberg said, “Mr. P, how many people are given the opportunity you had at 29 to buy Chevron Netherlands? How many Nigerians can ever say they were in a competitive bid to buy an oil & gas company in Europe and almost won? How many young men at your age with the same background, simply settle for less? But you went out into the real world and fought hard and fought valiantly. You got one of the largest indigenous Dutch oil companies and the Dutch state-run oil company to partner with you. You might have lost but you won. Take this as a privilege and that God himself is shaping you into a Man and not just any Man.” He was right and I agreed. Heisenberg advised that I head off to the one place that always rejuvenates my soul… Los Angeles. I got up out of bed, walked down into my study, went online and bought a ticket for the next morning’s flight to Los Angeles. I would go away for two months.

I arrived in Los Angeles half a day later. I sat in my apartment for the first two days. I barely ate and just stared into nothing. This was the cathartic process to get over my loss. Then I got into my car and drove to Malibu. There is nothing more peaceful than a scenic drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). The Pacific Ocean waters out to infinity on your left and there are cliffs, bluffs, and stunning mountains to your right. The California sun in all its warmth shines down and that good Cali fever infects your soul. This was Californication at its finest. I enjoyed my two months in Los Angeles. I partied hard, went to the Drake vs. Lil Wayne concert at the Hollywood Bowl, sat courtside and watched Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers play a good game, ate well and one night dined at BOA steakhouse on Sunset – at the table in front of me was an orange haired business man named Donald Trump, if only I had a crystal ball then. I went to Disneyworld and had a blast. California had healed me. I was okay again. I thanked God not only for the opportunity and the experience but also for blessing me with a good life. He had taught me some valuable lessons and helped me discover new parts of myself I didn’t know existed. Heisenberg was right, I was becoming a Man in the true sense of the word.

A year later, I moved back to Lagos for a few months to be closer to my family and to take a break from work. A South African company, HKLM that had helped my father design the logo for his telecoms company were in Lagos doing some further design work for my father. My father always uses a bull as his personal insignia and it had become synonymous with him. Gary Harwood of HKLM asked me if I wanted my father’s bull insignia adorned on any clothing or stationery. I told Gary that I wasn’t a bull and that my father was “the bull”. Gary countered and said, “Well Paddy if you are not a bull, then what are you?” I paused for a moment, thinking. My mother was born on August 2nd, 1950; she is a Leo by star sign. Leo’s are lions and I was my mother’s lion son, her Simba. I told Gary, “I am a Lion. I always have been and always will be.” Two weeks later Gary sent me a design of my own personal insignia, it was a Lion’s head. We made a few tweaks to make the Lion look more intimidating yet regal and Gary sent me the final design. In a very clever and touching way, Gary and his team had woven some of my facial features into the design of the Lion’s face. This Lion no matter who might see it or who might copy it would have me staring right back at them. I thanked him for a wonderful present.

I called Remi and told him that I was back in Lagos. He invited me over to his palatial and modern home. He liked my Lion’s head insignia that I had stitched onto the pocket of my native Nigerian kaftan. We sat down for hours and talked business and politics. Then Remi asked me what was I doing in London all that time, away from the family business. I was happy to tell him about Chevron Netherlands at this point, the deal was done and over. Remi looked at me in astonishment, “You mean you took on a whole Chevron, with no noise, no fanfare and none of us knew? Ahh bros you try!” We laughed it off. Remi then revealed the biggest bombshell of my Chevron Netherlands adventure. The managing director of Petrogas of Oman was a close friend of his and he knew he was bidding for Chevron Netherlands at the time. If I had told him what I was up to when we saw in London, whilst I was searching for the last bidder, he would have introduced us. I was blown away. There it was that whole time. That mystery last bidder that I had searched so hard for was there for my taking and it passed right by me.

I went back home that night and made myself the strongest drink. History couldn’t tell this story. I would have to.

By Paddy Adenuga

The post Paddy Adenuga: How Son Of Globacom Boss Nearly Acquired Chevron Netherlands At 29 appeared first on 360Nobs.com.

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APC Crisis: Kwankwaso Makes U-turn, Suspends Trip to Kano

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Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso on Monday announced the suspension of his planned visit to Kano, which was earlier scheduled for Tuesday, January 30.

The Chairman of Kwankwaso Visit Reception Committee, Dr Rabi’u Bichi, announced the suspension while addressing newsmen in Kano yesterday.

Trouble started when the State Police Commissioner, Rabiu Yusuf, on January 27 advised Kwankwaso to shelve the visit, saying that a security report had indicated that the visit might lead to political unrest.

Kwankwaso, who responded through his spokesperson, Binta Sipikin, vowed to go ahead with the visit in spite of the police advice.

“We are coming to visit friends, families and other relatives that for a long time we have not seen. We have coordinated this visit with seven camera drones and other apparatus that would make it a hitch-free homecoming,’’ Sipikin had said.

However, Kwankwaso, a former governor of Kano State, cancelled the visit at an emergency press conference at the Lugard House, Kano, addressed on his behalf by a former Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Rabiu Suleiman Bichi.

Bichi said Kwankwaso cancelled the visit to give the incumbent Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, time and space to form and consolidate his administration, without any interference.

He added that the decision followed the intervention of some well-meaning Nigerians who called from home and abroad.

“This standoff has attracted the attention of well-meaning Nigerians at home and abroad.

‘’They have called to give advice that mostly borders on the preservation of lives and property of our supporters and admirers.

“In view of the above and after lengthy consultations with well-meaning Nigerians, we painfully have decided to shelve the visit at the moment.“

‘’It is almost three years now since the Senator handed over and he’s under intense pressure from parents, brothers, sisters, alongside other well-wishers and, of course, his constituents to visit home,’’ he said.

Bichi, therefore, thanked all those leaders and supporters who advised and showed concern as well as put in a lot of time, energy and resources to make the visit successful.

“It is important to state that Kwankwaso’s visit will never be a reason to deliberately inconvenience any citizen, small or big let alone spill a drop of blood.

“We, therefore, appeal for peace, calm and call on our supporters to disregard any provocative statement,” Bichi said.

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Pique: Messi Needs A Competitive Team To Win

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Gerard Pique has said that Barcelona are only there to help Messi win trophies.

The Spain international defender has signed a contract extension at Barcelona till 2022.

Messi has won 29 trophies in 14 seasons at Barcelona, and is still in the UCL, Copa del Rey and top of the league.

And Pique said the 30-year-old has been crucial to each of the club’s titles to date.

“The key of the best generation of Barcelona is Leo. We just follow him,” Pique said.

“If anyone has been very important to our winning all these titles, it’s been Leo.

“We try to help him because he needs a competitive team to win titles.”

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INEC Expresses Concern Over Growing Number Of Political Parties Ahead Of 2019 Polls

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern about the growing number of political parties in the country, adding that it may pose challenges for the commission in the 2019 general elections.

INEC Releases Timetable For 2019 General Elections

These were the words of the Chief Technical Adviser to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Bolade Eyinla, on Monday at a retreat organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru in Abuja

While delivering a keynote address at the event, which was titled, ‘The Dynamics of Managing Political Parties Professionally,’ Eyinla said so far, 68 political parties had been registered.

INEC Presents Certificate Of Registration To 22 New Political Parties

Eyinla, who represented INEC, said with over 100 political associations seeking registration, the number might increase before the elections which could cause logistical problems, including the production of ballot papers.

The INEC official said if 68 parties participated in the elections, it could also mean that a total of 68 party agents would be at each polling unit, which could cause the elections to be rowdy.

He said: “Currently there are 68 registered political parties in Nigeria. As of today, there are more than 100 associations that have applied to INEC to register as political parties. This raises a number of questions which we want this retreat to address.”

“We are also going to be challenged if these 68 political parties and counting continue this way. We are just a commission. I cannot begin to imagine even as the technical adviser, how we will divide ourselves to monitor party conventions and primaries of 68 political parties across the length and breadth of this country.

“Already we have envisaged some of these challenges and we are coming up with strategies to deal with them in our election project plan.

“Ancillary to this is the fact that political party agents will also increase. I can imagine 68 political party agents in a polling unit. I think these are issues that we have to manage; but most importantly, how do we manage the ballot for 68 political parties?”

Eyinla said if any registered political party is mistakenly omitted from the ballot paper, it could lead to the total cancellation of the exercise.

The INEC official said, “I think perhaps one of the largest ballots that I have seen is that of Afghanistan where the ballot paper is nearly the size of a prayer mat.

“Given our level of literacy, I think that is going to be a major challenge and as we know, the question of exclusion is a major issue in the electoral process.

“The chairman was literally sleeping and waking with the ballot for Anambra State election to ensure that no party was excluded; to ensure that the names and logo of the parties were correct because any slip could nullify the election. So, I think there is a challenge with managing the ballot that will come with the increasing number of political parties.”

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#BBNaija 2018 Day 1: Tobi Becomes The First Head of House For The Season

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#BBNaija 2018 with the theme double wahala kicked off without much ado as Tobi became the first head of house for the season. Tobi emerged as the winner of the Head of House task and decided to be called Kabiyesi, which means a king or ruler in Yoruba.

If you will recall, six of the #BBNaija housemates were seperated and big brother decided to bring them together, along with the winners of the first Head of House game for a treat later at night in the arena.

The head of house task that saw Tobi emerge as winner consisted of building a balloon tower in just fifteen minutes. While the task seemed simple on the surface, it put the coordination skills of the #BBNaija housemates to test.

The housemates however fully immersed themselves into the challenge in what appeared to be a rather funny and chaotic manner that saw them cut through cello tape with their teeth, run around with sticky bare feet all in an attempt to rise to the challenge.

Amidst all the running around and effort, Tobi emerged as the winner, having built the tallest balloon tower of all.

Big brother seens to be in a goid mood ad he congratulated him and granted him the privilege of choosing any title of his linking be it Majesty, Mr President or other.

Tobi didn’t think twice and declared himself ‘Kabiyesi’ or ruler in Yoruba language. Never short of treats, Big Brother also invited Kayibesi Tobi to choose one #BBNaija Housemate to share the lottery bedroom with.

A delighted Cee-C held her shoulders high as she volunteered to share in Tobi’s next couple of nights. With Tobi and Cee-C spending the next couple of nights in close proximity,  It appears some #BBNaija double wahala is imminent, or what do you think?

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